Reviews for Fenway Fever


Booklist Reviews 2012 May #2
Twelve-year-old Alfredo "Stats" Pagano's family owns a hot dog stand outside of Fenway Park. Stats is sickly, and his father grieves for his dead wife. In fact, everything seems to be going wrong as the Red Sox are in a slump and the atmosphere at Fenway is growing poisonous. A quirky, philosophical Red Sox pitcher decides that the balance of the earth has been upset by the forced removal of hawks from the rafters of the stadium. Things grow worse when Stats discovers that the hot dog business is deeply in debt, and it appears as if his athletic brother won't get a chance to play in a game at Fenway. Events are set right, though, when the hawks are returned, and Stats gives an inspirational speech to fans at the stadium. Many young readers will identify with Stats' passion for baseball and the wonderful descriptions of the sights and sounds of the old ballpark on game day. The sometimes long-winded New Age sidetracks, however, may have less appeal. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Die-hard Red Sox fans might believe in Fenway's "high, holy gates" or that the ballpark is "the love of baseball itself...to all boys, all girls, all across the globe." But this overblown hyperbole sinks Ritter's story of the friendship between a struggling pitcher and a kid whose father owns a hotdog stand and their use of magical thinking to turn the team's season around.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #1
Beneath "all the festivity and hooplicity" for the 100th anniversary of Boston's Fenway Park looms a calamity no one seems to notice, but a 12-year-old fan and an oddball starting pitcher step up to the plate. The Curse of the Bambino, the 86-year curse that kept the Red Sox from winning the World Series until 2004 and again in 2007, is back. Early in the 2012 season, the Sox have gone from four games in front of the Yankees to one game back, in just 10 days. "We're not that bad of a team, Stat Man. Something else is going on," says pitcher Billee Orbitt to Stats Pagano, a young hot-dog vendor and statistics guru. There's always enchantment at Fenway Park, but there's more than magic afoot, or afloat, in Ritter's life-affirming and tear-jerking new baseball novel. Ritter is a master at capturing the nuances of the game and infusing its magic into his tales. Here, Billee figures out that "It's not the ball park that's out of whack. It's not even the team. It's the balance of nature. It's the chi," and Billee and Stats set out to restore the proper lines of energy through the sacred grounds of Fenway Park and make the Red Sox winners again. A surefire winner, full of energy and wonder. (Fantasy. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2012 November/December
Anyone who loves baseball knows about Fenway Park, the Red Sox, and the Curse of the Bambino. Ritter's fictional story follows young "Stats" Pagano and ace pitcher Billee Orbitt as they attempt to reverse the enduring curse. Orbitt believes that a single event changed the natural balance of Fenway Park and is contributing to the team's "bad luck." Challenging "Stats" to solve the mystery, Orbitt finds that the beginning of the curse can be traced to the destruction of several hawk's nests within the park. To reverse the curse, "Stats" and Billee go to the park late one evening and build a nest hoping the hawks will return. Though the ending is very "happily ever after" with every problem solved, young readers will appreciate the stories of friendship, family, and sportsmanship portrayed. This is a fun, quick read that most, especially sports fans, will enjoy. Diana H. Hanke, School Library Media Teacher, Roosevelt (Utah) Junior High School [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 September

Gr 5-8--It is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, and everyone is excited for a great season, except their star pitcher, Billee Orbit. The Red Sox have finally broken the Curse of the Bambino, winning two World Series, but Billee believes there is a new curse. To help him work through it, he turns to his young friend Alfredo 'Stats' Pagano, of Papa Pagano's Red Sox Red Hots hotdog stand, a staple at Fenway since Alfredo's grandfather opened it when he arrived in America. Billee and Stats try to figure out what could have caused the new curse and how to counter it. They look into all possibilities, including the ballpark's history, Chi, ley lines, and pyramids. This discussion of mysticism could be confusing and turn off readers. Stats has other problems. He was born with a weak heart, which keeps him from playing baseball, but it can't stop his love for the game, and he is facing a difficult surgery that could help him or be fatal. On top of that, his father is facing some financial difficulties and may have to sell off the hotdog stand. Reluctant readers may lose interest in the story due to the slow pace and lack of action.--Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY

[Page 153]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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