Reviews for Keeping Score

AudioFile Reviews 2008 December/January 2009
KEEPING SCORE is the perfect historical novel in that it uses a realistic story to bring a chapter of history alive for today's youth. Julie Pearl gives a spot-on narration, placing the listener in 1950s Brooklyn, where everyone roots for "dem bums" (the Brooklyn Dodgers) and prays for Jim's safe return from Korea. Each character has a unique voice, from the Irish brogue of Maggie's mother to the individualized "lilts" of the rest of the Brooklynites. Pearl is especially believable as Maggie. As she grows from age 9 to 14, she learns that hoping and praying don't make things happen, but they are "what gets everything started." The story leaves the listener with hope--for Jim's recovery and for "dem bums" to finally win the Series. N.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 November

Gr 4-6--Nine-year-old Maggie doesn't play baseball, but baseball is her life. Her family loves it as well. But do you route for the Yankees or the Giants? Maggie's made of sterner stuff. She's a Dodgers fan, and they don't exactly have a winning record, but Maggie's sure she can change that through prayer and willpower. She also has some additional help--Jim, a new guy at the fire station, is teaching her how to score a baseball game. It's a difficult skill to learn, but each time she scores a game she feels like she's helping the team. When Jim is drafted into the army and goes to Korea, Maggie writes to him with news from the home front, especially baseball news. Soon his letters to Maggie stop, and the girl is facing more serious issues than who scored a triple in the ninth. She starts researching the Korean War, and finds another reason to pray. This well-written, introspective book (Clarion, 2008) by Newbery author Linda Sue Park is read with verve and a true New York accent by Julie Pearl who creates different voices for all the characters. This novel offers a window to another era with characters who ring true. Even those who don't love baseball will enjoy Maggie's gumption and the moral dilemmas she faces. This excellent production will leave listeners feeling like they've just witnessed a home run.--Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA

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