Melissa 's Reviews > Never Blame the Umpire

Never Blame the Umpire by Gene Fehler
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's review
Feb 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2010, teen-realistic-fiction, with-reviews, first-reads

Kate has the perfect life and the perfect family. She has two great supportive parents and a wonderful little brother. She loves sports and is looking forward to spending her summer playing baseball and tennis and writing poetry in her creative writing class. The biggest problem Kate thinks she has in life is her disappointment when her parents fail to attend her opening season baseball game where she gets the game winning hit. That is until she finds out her mother is dying. The news rocks Kate’s faith in God to its core and leaves her wondering if God even cares.

This book is both heartbreaking and enlightening. The phases of grief that Kate goes through are realistic. She gets angry, she gets sad, she withdraws, and she tries to protect her mother. She can’t imagine a life living without her mother, she prays for a miracle, and she blames God when she sees that she isn’t going to get one.

The style of the book is interesting. The sentences are short which is good for young readers, but they are almost poetical in nature. In essence much of the book feels like one long poem which is interesting because Kate is writing poems and the text includes many of those she writes. In some ways Kate’s poems feel less poetical than the rest of the narrative.

This is a book that will make you laugh and cry. It accurately portrays a preteen dealing with grief and death. I would recommend this to anyone looking for books on grief, death, or faith. The author has done a remarkable job convincing the reader of Kate’s pain and sense of loss.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Be prepared to have a hanky handy. This one is a tear jerker. There are no other cautions for this book. It does not contain any foul language, sexuality, or violence.

Book received for free from Goodreads First Reads.


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Reading Progress

February 15, 2010 – Shelved
March 11, 2010 – Started Reading
March 11, 2010 –
page 35
March 15, 2010 –
page 192
March 15, 2010 – Finished Reading
March 16, 2010 – Shelved as: read-in-2010
March 16, 2010 – Shelved as: teen-realistic-fiction
March 16, 2010 – Shelved as: with-reviews
October 23, 2010 – Shelved as: first-reads

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