Curveball: the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick
The summer before Peter’s Freshmen year, he suffers a serious arm injury while pitching in his little league championship game. The game was a critical one, because it would have shown his soon to be high school baseball coaches that he was a gifted pitcher that could easily make the JV team. Now, however, Peter’s pitching days are over. The injury to his arm required surgery and Peter seems to has lost any idea of what to do with himself now that he can’t play baseball.
Peter’s only other passion in life has been photography. His interest has been cultivated through years of spending time with his grandfather, who is a professional photographer. Peter has learned all the ins and outs of a camera, both old school and digital. When he walks into his first day of Introducton to Photography, he is clearly ahead of the class. Both Peter and another student, Angelika, are sent to the Advanced Photogtraphy class. Being the only two Freshmen in a class of upperclassmen instantly creates a friendship between Peter and Angelika.
Peter and Angelika’s friendship becomes something more, however, when they begin working together taking photos for the yearbook. Things seem to be changing for Peter as he begins to find out who he is when he can no longer be the star pitcher. However, as Peter begins to find himself, his grandfather seems to be losing himself. Can Peter get his family to recognize that their grandfather needs help before it is too late?
Curveball has a lot going on in its pages. At first this novel seems pretty simple: a guy has to figure out who he is when he can no longer be a sports star. However, with the addition of a possible new girlfriend, a best friend who truly believes Peter will pitch again, and a grandfather whose mind is slipping, Peter’s life is complicated. When you’re reading Curveball, though, you never feel like you are overwhelmed with Peter’s problems. It is a really good read that never feels like there is too much drama. I also really liked Peter. He was relatable and is a character who had flaws that he was able to overcome.
You should definitely pick this book up if you are looking for a good, realistic read that has a cast of characters that feel like your own friends and family.