Shakespeare Bats Cleanup is a book written in verse. It's the story of fourteen year old Kevin who is sick and can't play baseball. Out of boredom he takes up writing poetry and tries to write many different kinds of poetry. In this way, the book is quite educational, because it teaches about different kinds of poetry through Kevin's writing. Kevin's dealing with a lot...not only is he unable to play baseball, but his mom passed away not too long ago. Some of the poetry he writes about this event is touching and beautiful, while some of the other poetry feels exactly like a fourteen year old trying to write poetry. Without a doubt, there is a story told through these poems. It's a pretty fast read, but very enjoyable.
Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs is the sequel. I feel there's a big difference in the quality of Kevin's writing from Shakespeare Bats Cleanup to this one, so it's very enjoyable. Life is moving on...Kevin is back on the team and still trying to write poetry. Meanwhile, his dad is starting to date again and Kevin himself meets another girl which throws his feelings into confusion. This girl becomes his poetry partner and they help each other write better poetry.
I really enjoy the different style of these books. They don't take long to read, but they send a really positive message about poetry. I have to admit that I thought Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs might be a bit more appealing to girls since so much of it is Kevin being conflicted (and clueless) about liking one girl while having a different girlfriend. But in any case, they confront true issues of life through the beauty of verse.
Source of Books: Received from publicist for review
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Monday, March 1, 2010
Posted by Amy at 9:57 PM
Review: Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge