This is the first review of Tagged Out, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I was encouraged and delighted by this positive, thorough and well-written review from Resource Links magazine. In my opinion, Patricia Jermey very accurately captures what I was trying to do with Tagged Out, and the motivation of the characters. Not only is it a wonderful review, but it’s a really great synopsis of the book. Thank you, Resource Links!
GRANT, Joyce Tagged Out (Sports Stories) James Lorimer & Co., 2016. 121p. Gr. 4-8. 978-1-4594-1075-6. Pbk. $9.95
Nash Calvecchio is not the usual teen protagonist: he is not the smartest, or the most popular, or the most talented athlete. His hard-edged persona has been formed in reaction to the very critical grandfather who has raised him. Baseball and his teammates are the most important things in his life.
When a new kid, Jock, joins the team, he threatens Nash in three ways: he is a better fielder than Nash, he quickly becomes friends with the other players, and he is openly gay. When he goes out of his way to give Nash baseball advice, Nash at first reacts badly. But after he realizes Jock really means to help, Nash works with him for extra practice.
When three bullies from an opposing team corner them late at night, Nash realizes he has to stick up for his friend. Once again, Lorimer Sports Series uses a popular team sport as a vehicle for effective social commentary. Jock is comfortable in his sexuality, although he confesses to Nash that he has never been sexually active.
This is a challenging topic for the target audience, age 10 to 13. Another home run for Lorimer Sports!
Thematic Links: LGBTQ Teens; Baseball; Teamwork; Friendship
-By Patricia Jermey