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Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series

Review

Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series

Norbert Doyle is a pitcher who has toiled for years in the minor leagues before being brought up to pitch in the majors at the end of the baseball season. Doyle’s rise from obscurity to appearing in the World Series and his tragic personal story propel him and his two teenage children, David and Morra, into the media spotlight. The now-famous athlete is sought out for interviews and pursued by agents promising lucrative corporate sponsorships and movie deals. But does Doyle have a secret that could jeopardize his promising future?

After 14-year-old reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson score an interview with Doyle and his kids, they stumble across inconsistencies in reports about his wife’s tragic death. Following the interview, Susan Carol meets privately with David, and she begins hiding things from Stevie.

As the World Series plays out on the field, Stevie continues his investigation. The deeper he digs into Doyle’s past, the more he discovers that things are not as they seem with the pitcher and his family. The closer Stevie gets to the truth of what happened on the night Doyle’s wife died, the more he is pressured to back off and keep quiet.

John Feinstein’s passion for sports, his play-by-play narrative of events on the field, and his behind-the-scenes knowledge of journalism are evident. CHANGE-UP gives a realistic portrayal of perseverance, the pressures of writing under deadline, adhering to journalistic ethics, competition among reporters and photographers, and the exacting process of digging for information and verifying facts. Also woven into the story is a reporter’s dilemma of the public’s right to know versus the individual’s right to privacy.

CHANGE-UP serves up a couple of curves --- some mostly mild swearing, a few tame romantic scenes, some pushing and shoving, and one slapping incident. Young sports fans, especially those who love reading about baseball with a behind-the-dugout mystery, or readers who are curious about the field of journalism, should enjoy this latest sports novel from the Edgar Award winner of LAST SHOT.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on August 11, 2009

Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series
by John Feinstein

  • Publication Date: May 25, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling
  • ISBN-10: 0375847596
  • ISBN-13: 9780375847592