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Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  3,060 ratings  ·  468 reviews
Sometimes, the greatest comebacks take place far away from the ball field.

Meet Peter Friedman, high school freshman. Talented photographer. Former baseball star. When a freakish injury ends his pitching career, Peter has some major things to figure out. Is there life after sports? Why has his grandfather suddenly given him thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment? An
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Scholastic
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The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithMy Life Next Door by Huntley FitzpatrickEasy by Tammara WebberPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
2012 YA Contemporaries
89th out of 294 books — 2,508 voters
One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly HuntCurveball by Jordan SonnenblickDrama by Raina TelgemeierStolen into Slavery by Judith Bloom FradinLaugh with the Moon by Shana Burg
Sequoyah Intermediate Award 2015
2nd out of 15 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

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Moments. Those flashes of time that can feel like a lifetime or a blink of an eye. The boring, sad, painful, happy, and life altering moments somehow all add up to help make us who we are in life. Some memories and moments slip away right then and there, while others remain in our hearts and minds. The moment we decide to turn left instead of right, to keep or share a secret, ignore the pain, throw the ball, take the picture, and on and on…..A moment can change everything.

Curveball: The Year I
I was doing fine until the epilogue. Then came the waterworks. Always enjoy a Sonnenblick novel.
I feel like Curveball was, in retrospect, not a book I should have read one day after my grandmother’s funeral.

Normally I might have found aspects of this book strained.

The attempt to connect everything in a great flowing circle (complete with eagles flying over mountains at sunset) fell sort of flat with me. Angelika’s mad leap to diagnose Grampa with dementia after a three-minute conversation with an almost-stranger seemed to exist solely to further the plot, rather than because it was a real
Ms. Yingling
Peter is a hotshot baseball pitcher who works well with his lunkhead friend AJ until a serious elbow injury makes it impossible for him to pitch or play ball ever again. Peter's grandfather is a wedding photographer who has always encouraged Peter to take pictures, so Peter starts out the year in 9th grade taking Intro to Photography, but soon gets moved to the advanced class. Moving with him is Angelika, a smart mouthed but cute girl who shares his interests. When Peter's grandfather suddenly g ...more
Oh, Goodreads . . . why don't you have half-star ratings yet? This is a great book, and an ideal 4.5 for me.
Richie Partington
30 June 2011 CURVEBALL: THE YEAR I LOST MY GRIP by Jordan Sonnenblick, Scholastic Press, March 2012, 304p., ISBN:978-0-545-32069-6

"'And now, Fern, it's time to get ready for Sunday School. And tell Avery to get ready. And this afternoon you can tell me more about what goes on in Uncle Homer's farm. Aren't you spending quite a lot of time there? You go there almost every afternoon, don't you?'
"'I like it there,' replied Fern. She wiped her mouth and ran upstairs. After she left the room, Mrs. Ar
I really liked Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, and while I always thought that boys and girls would like it equally, girls seemed to like it better. That's sort of how I feel about this book. It has a boy as the protagonist and the title really makes you think it's a guy read, but within the first few pages I had completely decided it was a girl read. That seems problematic to me, since the title just doesn't appeal to girls. In fact, the book isn't really about baseball at all, as the title im ...more
When Peter makes the pitch with his arm that continues to hurt more and more, he knows that it might be the last one he ever makes. And he's right. His injury is one he may never fully recover from, so he knows his chances of a high school career in baseball are over. He keeps it a secret from best friend and teammate AJ, though, not wanting to make him too concerned.

It's then that Peter's grandfather also hands over all of his camera equipment to Peter. They've been going out on shoots together
This multi-layered offering is the story of Pete, a high school freshman who is trying to redefine his self-identity after a debilitating elbow injury ends his baseball career. At the same time, Pete's grandfather, with whom he shares a close relationship, is showing early signs of Alzheimers Disease and sees his 40+ years as a career photographer slipping away from him. Secrets and half-truths build up as Pete tries to protect Grampa, maintain a friendship with his baseball-playing best friend, ...more
This book surprised me. I chose it to have another male, teenaged protagonist novel to recommend to my students. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It's a straightforward and accessible read for young teenagers, and stays clean despite touching on high school topics such as sexuality and drinking. But, the true heart of the book lies in the relationships that Peter has with his new girlfriend, his parents, his best friend AJ, and most importantly, the grandfather who is slipping furth ...more
Teresa Bunner
I related to this book in so many ways, I can see young people relating to it also. As the mom of a baseball player who went through an injury (thankfully not career ending!) last summer and rehab the feelings and reactions of Pete and his parents were all too familiar. Pete's dealings with Alzheimer's in one he loves reminded me of those I have known and lost with this frightening disease.

It was an easy, but thought-provoking read which I think students will appreciate.
Kathy Mathey
Once in awhile a YA book hits home (no baseball pun intended), and this one does. Tenderness and raw emotion permeate this story filled with teenage angst, uncertainty, and finding your way. On a teacher's note, I have to say Sonnenblick is the powerhouse of figurative language.
Humorous + heartwarming + great family dynamic + strong characters = another book by Sonnenblick that further cements him as one of my favorite authors.
Silvanna Mancini
This book is about a boy named Peter who is a superstar at baseball but has an injury that causes him to never be able to play again. His best friend is also a star pitcher and doesn't stop talking about how they will play together in the spring even though Peter is unable to. Peter's grandpa and role model slowly starts to become out of touch with reality and Peter tries to help but fails. His Grandpa gave him all of his camera equipment that help him talk to his crush in his photography class. ...more
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Pete loves baseball, and he works hard to be the best pitcher he can possibly be, preparing himself to start high school and begin serious ball with his best friend A.J. Pete keeps throwing even when his arm is hurting and injures himself so badly that surgery--and the end to his baseball career--is required. Peter can't even bear to tell A.J. that he won't be beside him for spring tryouts, but he manages to distract himself with a hobby born from his grandfather's profession: Photography.

From the literary merit of this book alone, I probably would have given this 4 stars, but there is some undefined aspect of quality that this book has that many do not for me: I WANTED to read it. The writing, the characters, the several interrelated themes all worked for me.

Normally, I don't read other reviews before I write my own, but this time, I read a few. I must say, I didn't find Angelika unbelievable - it seems to me the high school kids I see make snap judgements like that all of the
Stephanie Redwine
Curveball: The Year I Lost my Grip follows Peter, a high school freshman, who is trying to find his place in the world after tearing his arm ligaments throwing a baseball. He is trying to juggle his resentment at not being able to play anymore, his feelings for his photo shop partner, and his fear for his grandfather.
I really enjoyed this book and feel that it is a story that teenagers can identify with. The voice of Peter is believable and he goes through many situations within the course of t
Really wavered between a 4 and 5 here. There are so many things to like about the book. I listened to the audio version, and Luke Daniel did a great job with the different characters. AJ is hilarious, even if a bit over the top. The relationship between Peter and his grandfather is well-documented, and very special. In addition, they undergo parallel disappointments: Grandpa loses his photography, and Peter loses baseball. My main quibble is with the delay in dealing with Grandpa's Alzheimer's. ...more
Plot Summary:

A young boy named Peter is an incredible pitcher for his 8th grade baseball team. At the beginning of the season he notices his elbow is aching, but he doesn't tell anyone about it. By the time the end of the season has come, Peter has ruined his elbow, and will never be able to play baseball again. This story is about how Peter finds a new passion, a new girlfriend, and deals with family issues.

Main Characters:

Peter Friedman: Peter is the main character of this story. He is an exce
Everything in Peter Friendman's life seems to be changing and most of it for the worst. After building an All-Star reputation as a catcher/pitcher team with his best friend AJ, Peter blew out his elbow in a game. The injury was so bad that he will probably never be able to play again.

Over the summer, Peter spends a lot of his time with his grandfather, one of his favorite peopl ein the world. Photography has always tied them together, and they make the most of his time off to practice. The only
Leslie Preddy
Oct 11, 2012 Leslie Preddy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: grades 7-10
Jordan Sonnenblick has hit a homerun with his recently published novel, Curveball the Year I Lost my Grip. The title indicates the book is about baseball while the cover on the book seems to communicate it is about a girl and photography. While the book is about these subjects, it is about rediscovering yourself and much more.

Baseball standout Peter Friedman looks forward to making the varsity baseball team as a freshman. During the summer before entering high school, his dreams are crushed as h
Review originally posted on

Summary: Peter’s dreams of being a big-time pitcher on the high school baseball team are cut short when an elbow injury stops him from playing baseball ever again. Even though he has photography to fall back on, he is still unable to come to grips with his new reality (and be honest with his best friend and teammate about it). Not to mention Gramps, his favorite relative (and the person who taught him to love photography), seems not to be himse
Apr 02, 2012 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I'm trying to figure out what it is about Jordan Sonnenblick's writing that so appeals to me. I've slogged through quite a number of kids and YA books lately, and even enjoyed and appreciated some of them, but none have been a joy to read the way Sonnenblick's books are.

It's a combination of many things, I'm sure, and I'm not going to dig into my past to unearth any literary criticism terms. Reading the first few chapters of Curveball, I got the sense of life as a blank slate. Anything could hap
When I read other reviews for this book, some suggested that it was mistitled--that the title suggested it was for boys when it was really more for girls. I actually bought it because of those reviews, and am I ever glad I did, even though the reviews were wrong.

I teach middle school, and I will state with my firmest conviction that this not a girl book that has been targeted to the wrong audience. This book is for boys, particularly middle school through high school. No, it is not filled with
Ardea Smith
Title / Author / Publication Date: Sonnenblick, J. (2012). Curveball: the year I lost my grip. New York: Scholastic Press.

Genre: Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Plot summary: This book reminds me of some of the trials my own cousins have gone through with high school sports. At least two of my cousins devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to football and hockey but by the end of their senior year had realized they could not continue or had suffered serious injury that prevented them from continu
I LOVED the audio version of this young adult novel. The narrator was fantastic. Peter is a short, Jewish, broody almost-freshman boy who lives and breathes baseball with his all-star friend, A.J., but injures his pitching elbow before he can try out for the high school baseball team. Just when you think it's going to be an ordinary sports novel, Sonnenblick makes it complicated by adding Peter's photographer grandfather, who's experiencing forgetfulness in his advancing age, a thoughtful, chall ...more
Remember when you were just starting high school? Feeling insecure, feeling like everyone is watching you, trying to decide if you are one of the "cool" kids or not. Trying to figure out what to wear, how to do your hair, what music to listen to? Trying to figure out who you are? What you love, what you don't love? What is important to you? Who is important to you? You remember those days, the best days of your life. The ones that help define who you will become. Those days that you don't want t ...more
This 290-page young adult novel by Jordan Sonnenblick was an extremely easy read. The only reason that I continued to read this elementary book was because it was amusing to read about the main character’s school-life and compare it to that of students at ASD and other learning institutions. Sonnenblick narrates how a baseball pitcher injures his arm to the point of giving up the sport and how he turns to his grandfather’s passion for photography. There are several humorous spots sprinkled throu ...more
Abby Johnson
Another hit from contemporary master Jordan Sonnenblick. Freshman year is turning out to be a wild ride for Peter Friedman. After an injury takes him off the field permanently, he's not exactly sure who he is now that he's not a baseball star, and he doesn't know how to tell his best friend that he'll never play again. His photography class is awesome - in no small part because he's partnered with the cute, smart Angelika. But he's worried about his grandfather who's forgetting things more and m ...more
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I am the author of seven books for children and young adults, including Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. So if youʼre looking for info about some other guy named Jordan Sonnenblick, youʼve got the wrong website.
Anyway, I know a lot of people are looking for stuff they can use in reports for school, so Iʼll just get this out of the way right up front:
My favorite color is blue.
I have a wife and two
More about Jordan Sonnenblick...
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