Author: Derek E. Sullivan
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: March 1, 2015
Review Source: Albert Whitman & Company
Henry “Biggie” Abbott is the son of one of Finch, Iowa ‘s most famous athletes. His father was a baseball legend and his step-dad is a close second. At an obese 300+ pounds though, Biggie himself prefers classroom success to sports. As a perfectionist, he doesn’t understand why someone would be happy getting two hits in five trips to the plate. “Forty percent, that’s an F in any class,” he would say. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts to flirt with him. Hundreds of people have told him to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play ball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try. What happens when a boy who has spent his life since fourth grade trying to remain invisible is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the high school spotlight?
I wish I could say that high school was the best years of my life...but, unfortunately, I can't. High school is brutal. There's no candy coating anything that will happen to you there. If only I could go back to my high school self and say, "Just wait for college," then maybe I would've enjoyed it a little more. Maybe I wouldn't have cared so much about what people thought of me...but I can't. High school was not my best friend.
Those were the thoughts I had while reading this book. Instead of crawling into a corner with a book in my face, hoping for the year to move by quicker like me, "Biggie" felt like he should do something about his situation and join the baseball team. I'm a huge baseball fan, so it was nice to feel like I was part of the crowd cheering "Biggie" on. If you're not that big of a fan, you will be by the end of this book. I actually learned some stuff about it that I hadn't known before! He not only starts to change physically, but mentally as well. Was his journey an easy one? Of course not. There were times where I just sat and cried for him. I was literally bawling my eyes out for a fictional character. Even though it was a struggle for him, it was worth it.
The only reason I gave this 3.5 trees is because sometimes I felt annoyed by "Biggie." I wanted hi to be a little more "grown up." It's a hard line when it comes to writing YA. You can have a main character that acts too young for their age...and then you can have one that's way beyond their years. I actually prefer the "way beyond their years" and sometimes I felt "Biggie" was a little too immature for me. He even seemed a little creepy to me.
I would recommend this book to my male students, especially those who face the same issues as "Biggie." There are a few things that would make me give it to my older crowd, but overall, it was a pretty easy read. I look forward to reading more from this author!
(3) Signed copies of Biggie- Signed
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