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Hothead (Cal Ripken) by Cal Ripken Jr.

Hothead (Cal Ripken)

by Cal Ripken Jr.

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Robbie Hammond is the hardest throwing pitcher in the Babe Ruth League. But what good is all that heat when he can''t seem to find the plate? With Robbie struggling, the Orioles are suffering through a nightmare season, still looking for their first win. Robbie''s teammates are whispering that the only reason he''s even pitching is because he''s the coach''s kid. They''ve even given him a new nickname: Ball Four. What the other Orioles don''t know is that Robbie is still haunted by a fastball that got away from him and injured a batter in last year''s All-Star Game. Now, with the pressure mounting, he''s willing to try anything to get his control back, including listening to a mysterious boy who just might hold the key to helping Robbie–and the Orioles–save their season. This third action-packed book in Cal Ripken Jr.''s All-Star series will have readers on the edge of their seats as they root for Robbie''s comeback.
I read this to my nephew and he loved it.
So did I. ( )
  silversurfer | Apr 22, 2013 |
From April 2011 SLJ:
Gr 3-6–Connor Sullivan seems to have it made: the seventh-grade all-star shortstop is well liked by his teammates and has a good shot at the invitation-only Brooks Robinson Camp. But he hasn’t told anyone that his dad was laid off from his job as a car salesman, and that financial worries are creating tension at home. The stress starts to get the better of Connor on the field, and the previously even-tempered player starts having major meltdowns. At first, his outbursts are self-directed, but when his best friend misses a catch, Connor lashes out at him as well. After a couple of warnings, Connor is suspended for a game, and he knows that if he can’t rein in his temper, Coach Hammond will oust him from the team. To make matters worse, the sports editor of the school paper got some footage of Connor losing his temper and is threatening a feature story. When Coach stops by to talk with Connor’s dad, the job situation comes to light and Connor is able to vent some of his fears and frustrations. Not surprisingly, things begin to look up, and while he has a few minor setbacks along the way, he ultimately learns that he can control his reactions. Although fairly formulaic, this book has plenty to recommend it. Baseball history aficionados will enjoy Ripken’s homage to fellow Oriole superstars, and the book has engaging characters and plenty of on-the-field action. Fans of Mike Lupica and Matt Christopher will be thrilled. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |

Author: Cal Ripken, Jr.
Publisher Format: Hyperion books, Listening Library (audio) 2:50 hrs, 144 pages
Year of publication: 2011
Subject: sportsmanship in youth sports and life
Setting: Anytown USA
Genre: YA fiction
Source: public library download
Rating: 3.8 of 5
Recommended: for young and not so young readers who love baseball

I grew up in Baltimore - home of the Baltimore Orioles and world famous shortshop Cal Ripken, Jr.  So this was a no brainer for me when it popped up on the new list on the library download program.  It's a short but fun book geared to young readers who are moving from the non-competitive levels of baseball into Little League or higher organized forms of the game.

The story centers on Connor Sullivan, a talented Babe Ruth league shortstop who has great difficulty accepting his imperfections. Whenever something goes wrong--he fails to hit the ball, he drops a ball he should have fielded, etc-- an explosion is sure to follow. Even being removed from the game and threatened with suspension from further play does not seem to help him control his "hot head."  Worried about troubles at home-- his father is out of work, his mother is working double shifts to try to keep the roof over their heads, and neither seems to have much time to spare for him--Connor is ashamed to share any of those concerns with his coaches or teammates, so the internal pressure ends up escaping in Vesuvian explosions.

Enter Melissa Monroe - A GIRL - who is a reporter for the school newspaper. Is she friend or foe? Will her stories about Connor and his antics make things worse? Or will her "interviews"- allowing Connor to talk about the external pressures in his life--help Connor to understand his behavior?

This one is geared to grades 5-9, but is an enjoyable read for anyone in the family who loves the National Pastime. The baseball clichès abound, and you can smell the grass and the hot dogs, and hear the crowd roar. A perfect short, sweet, summer read. ( )
  tututhefirst | Jun 24, 2011 |
a good independent reader baseball book written by cal ripken jr. it's about a talented shortstop who has trouble keeping his temper in check. some good baseball action and an interesting story. good for ages 7-11. ( )
  shannonkearns | Mar 29, 2011 |
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The ball was scorched - Connor Sullivan saw that right away. It shot past the pitcher on one hop, then headed for the outfield as Connor broke to his left from his shortstop position.
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Connor Sullivan, All-Star third baseman on his Babe Ruth League team, has a terrible temper and problems at home, but when the sports editor of the school paper threatens to publish an embarrassing story about his tantrums, Connor must make a change.

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