Bobby Baseball

Bobby Baseball

Book - 1989
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Ten-year-old Bobby is passionate about baseball and convinced that he is a great player. The only problem is to get a chance to prove his skill, especially to his father.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, 1989
ISBN: 9780385298070
0385298072
Characteristics: 165 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Tiegreen, Alan - Illustrator

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FindingJane Nov 21, 2016

Robert E. Kimmel is a brat. He’s a whiny, self-absorbed, self-centered, conceited, chauvinistic, oath-breaking, willful, hubristic and hot-tempered monomaniac who seriously over-estimates his own abilities. It’s a good thing he’s only ten years old; otherwise there’d be no tolerating him.

Bobby Baseball, as he likes to call himself (clearly, he doesn’t understand the concept of “nicknames”; those are names other people give you not the ones you give yourself), deals mainly with his family who’ve grown used to his shortcomings. But then his nasty behavior starts spilling over on to his team and teammates. He’s subject to the will of his father and they are at loggerheads for pretty much the entire book. Again and again, Bobby shows that he won’t take direction if it’s contrary to his wishes and that he throws tantrums when he’s thwarted. (I don’t advocate corporal punishment but I dearly wanted someone to give that boy a sharp spanking!)

In the end, the author managed to win my grudging acceptance of Bobby. Mr. Smith kept the tone realistic throughout (although the parts filled with baseball terminology and stats bored me a little) so that we understood that Bobby doesn’t get things his own way all the time. In fact, he rarely does.

Bobby learns to come to grips with his shortcomings, that life isn’t always like a movie and that matters don’t always reach the conclusion you want. Bobby may not become a more level-headed person but he learns that defeat is inevitable and that failure doesn’t mean the end of everything. It’s a hard-won lesson but all the more important because of it.

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