October 6, 2011
Top of the Order - by John Coy
Luckily for all you readers, I was pleasantly surprised by this engaging, well-written book. Mr. Coy really knows how to keep the balance between lots of sports action and a story line that is really not about sports at all, but about friendship, family, and frustration. Four fifth grade boys are dealing with all sorts of personal issues, and they come from different walks of life, but on the field they share one common goal: Winning. There are all sorts of twists and turns, which while predictable, were interesting and kept me turning the pages faster than a shortstop's toss to second in a double play. See? I not only enjoyed the story, but I learned a few things about baseball along the way.
Some sports novels have the sport as a background, just part of the setting, and others focus way too much on the sport and leave out any real story line. Much like another favorite of mine, Mike Lupica, John Coy's writing has just the right amount of each. If you love baseball, if you've ever had an annoying little sister (who turned out not to be so bad after all), if you appreciate the power of friendship and teamwork, or if you just like fun series books, check this one out. (This is the first in a four-book series.)