EVERYONE ASSUMES THAT GUS, WHOSE FAMILY IS FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, IS A BASEBALL GUY.
But this year Gus is even more excited about basketball than any other sport he’s ever played. He’s been practicing some new moves and lately he’s more surprised when he misses his shot than when he scores. Plus now that he’s convinced his friend Teddy to try out for the team and Jack’s shoulder is healed, it looks like Walton’s home team will be unstoppable.
But this isn’t going to be the season Gus expected, because their team is getting a new player—and she just happens to be one of his best friends. Gus knows Cassie is more than good enough to compete on the boys’ team, and besides they really do need a point guard, so why isn’t he able to shake the feeling that she belongs on their bleachers rather than their bench? And to make matters worse, with their center Steve Kerrigan constantly making comments about his Dominican heritage, and Steve’s dad voicing his views on immigration as he runs for office, Gus is starting to wonder if he really belongs in Walton after all.
Can Gus find a way to bring the home team together both on and off the court, or will all these prejudices block their shot at a winning season?
LAST SPRING IN WALTON EVERYTHING CHANGED FOR TEDDY. Thanks to his new best friends, Jack, Cassie, and Gus, he started working out, shaping up, and even earned a spot on the Walton baseball team.
For Teddy, though, the dream has always been football. Which is why this year is so important. He’s trained. He’s practiced. He’s ready for anything.
But is he ready for his long-absent dad to move back to Walton and into his life?
When one of his teammates suffers a devastating injury and Teddy’s dad starts helping out on the sidelines, it becomes very clear that this is not going to be the season Teddy was expecting. Can he find a way to go the extra yard for the team and for himself, or is the distance between him and his father too much to break through?
“The Only Game is way more than a baseball novel. It’s a great story about fighting back after tragedy, and finding that place in your heart where courage comes from. This is absolutely Lupica’s best book.”
—Carl Hiaasen, author of
Hoot and Skink—No Surrender
“This is a page-turning and moving story that boys, girls, sports fans, and every kid will love to read.”
—Alex Morgan, Olympic gold-medalist
and author of The Kicks
“I like life and I love baseball. Mike Lupica has written a powerful book about both. The Only Game is a moving story about love, loss, guilt, and the power of trust and friendship that heals.”
—Patricia MacLachlan, author of
Newbery Award–winner Sarah, Plain and Tall
IN WALTON, BASEBALL IS EVERYTHING. FOR JACK CALLAHAN IT’S A CALLING…UNTIL THE DAY HE QUITS.
No one understands Jack’s decision. Not his teammates. Not his best friend, Gus. This was supposed to be their year—the year they were destined for the Little League World Series.
Jack may have his reasons, but he now finds himself short on friends.
Enter Cassie Bennett. She’s a star softball player and the only person not pressuring Jack to play. Then there’s Teddy, a classmate who’s constantly picked on for his weight, but whom Jack might be able to help with a little coaching.
Time spent with these new friends unlocks something within Jack. With their help and the support of his family, can he dust himself off and find his way back to the Only Game?