Elisquared's Reviews > Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge
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Apr 21, 12

bookshelves: contemporary, fiction, humor, verse, ya-middle-grade
Read on April 08, 2012

I finally read Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, which is the first companion novel (and first book) to Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs. Luckily since these books are in verse, going backwards worked out. The first book was just as enjoyable as the second, and I'm so glad I got to pick it up.

Here we meet Kevin in the throes of mono. Since he can't play baseball, his dad gives him a journal to use while he's stuck in bed. At first he doesn't write much, but one day he scribbles a poem down. After swiping a book on the art of poetry from hi dad, Kevin is hooked. Using poems as an outlet, Kevin writes about the joys and fears in his life.

The balance Koertge manages in this book is great. The love of baseball and the growing passion for poetry that Kevin has is articulated perfectly. There is a push/pull happening in Kevin's mind while deciding if baseball or poetry is what he wants that is expressed using poems beautifully. With the ability to express the concrete and the figurative, I don't think the reader would get the same perspective and feeling if the book was written in verse.

On top of the story, as Kevin learns the different forms of poetry, so does the reader. This makes the book an excellent tool to use in the classroom. Another home run for Ron Koertge, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup is definitely a book I'd recommend for reluctant male readers during a poetry unit, as well as a great book for everyone.
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