Reviews for Pinch Hit


Booklist Reviews 2012 March #2
Trevor is a major Hollywood star with an actress mother and a big-time producer father. He dreams, though, of playing baseball on a regular team. (Trevor's father once rented the L.A. Dodgers to scrimmage with him, but that was only a major embarrassment for Trevor.) Meanwhile, Sam lives with his English-teacher father, a would-be screenwriter, in a trailer near a dump. The two boys eventually discover that they are twins separated at birth. Together they concoct a Prince and the Pauper-type switch, giving Trevor a chance to play baseball and Sam a chance to act, hang out with a beautiful young actress, live in a mansion, and plug his dad's screenplay. Of course, many bumps along the way keep things exciting and humorous until the true story of Sam's background is revealed. Many young readers will enjoy this lighthearted and fast-moving modern take on a familiar plot device, including fans of Green's other sports novels. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Green recasts The Prince and the Pauper with a child film star, Trevor, and an excellent baseball player, Sam, as identical twins separated at birth and adopted into disparate economic circumstances. Nothing in this plot is remotely believable, from Trevor's preternaturally speedy baseball skills to the miraculously easy acceptance of Sam's father's screenplay to the happy-ever-after ending.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #1
Two boys decide to trade places prince-and-pauper style. Trevor's a Hollywood star wishing he could play baseball like a real kid, and Sam's that real kid, whose father is unsuccessfully peddling his script. The credulity-straining plot is not new, but Green attempts to make this fantasy seem plausible by having the boys discover quickly that they may be identical twins separated at birth. Female teen heartthrob McKenna acts as Sam's advisor in Hollywood, leaving Trevor to negotiate Sam's trailer-park life on his own. Sam is a great baseball player, of course, and Trevor's main challenge is fulfilling Sam's coach and teammates' reasonable expectations. Trevor's distracted and distant parents make Sam's success at his half of the fraud a little more believable, but that he would wow the director on his first take in the blockbuster Trevor has been filming is hard to take. As is Trevor's birthday present of playing baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the fake birthmark that distinguishes the two supposedly fooling a makeup artist on the set on a daily basis. There's plenty of baseball action to distract from the flimsiness of the plot, which ends on such an unlikely note that there must be a sequel planned. Sports fiction seldom branches out into the movies, which may broaden the audience a little. Pure, escapist fluff. (Sports fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

Gr 4-7--Green goes Hollywood--literally. When Trevor, a famous tween actor, comes face-to-face with the more down-to-earth Sam, who's subbing for his regular stand-in, the two quickly realize that their identical looks can't be a coincidence. Both boys are adopted, and they agree that they must be twins separated at birth. Trevor quickly figures out a way to work things to his advantage. He has always wanted to play on a real baseball team, but his mother has not allowed it, insisting that his acting career come first. Sam's father has been trying unsuccessfully to sell a screenplay, and Trevor points out that by posing as a teen idol with access to agents and producers, Sam could further his dad's career as well. So Sam steps into Trevor's rich lifestyle of limousines and scripts, and Trevor becomes the star player on the Blue Sox. It is reasonably easy for Sam to coast along for a few days, especially with the help of beautiful costar McKenna, who is in on the switch. Yet despite the hours that Trevor has spent in his personal batting cage, he soon realizes that he is nowhere close to Sam's normal level of play. Green's usual level of sports detail is diluted by all of the Hollywood name-dropping and the sheer implausibility of the story, but the author's fans will enjoy the predictable ride.--Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

[Page 158]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2012 February
Twins separated at birth, one raised rich and the other poor, accidentally meet as pre-teens and secretly switch places … a situation as familiar to readers of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and C.S. Lewis's A Horse and His Boy as to viewers of The Parent Trap films (1961 and 1998) and the 1995 Olsen twins' film, It Takes Two. Green's novel drops the adult romance angle, focusing tightly upon each of his place-swapping twins, in alternating chapters. Twelve-year-old Sam Palomaki is a star youth baseball player who lives very modestly with his adoptive father, a school teacher whose dream is to have his movie script produced. Twin Trevor Goldman is a child actor whose adoptive parents are wealthy members of the Hollywood film community. When Sam accompanies his dad to a meeting to pitch his script, the boy is identified as an ideal film double for Trevor Goldman, who is currently making a film nearby. Sam and Trevor meet, soon recognize one another as possible twin brothers (each knows he was adopted) and with the aid of their cell phones (and Trevor's cute co-star) make plans to swap places for a while Primarily a baseball story, the novel also provides entertaining descriptions of Hollywood lifestyles and the filmmaking business, all from the outsider perspective of each misplaced twin. Many of the ninty-five short chapters end on a suspenseful note, lending a hectic, roller-coaster effect, right up to the heartwarming but abrupt conclusion that leaves several plot threads untied.--Walter Hogan 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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