King of the Mound

King of the Mound

My Summer with Satchel Paige

For Ages: 8 - 12
Baseball legend Satchel Paige changes a boy’s life in this coming-of-age tale from the author of Lucky.

When Nick is released from the hospital after suffering from polio, he is sure that his father will never look at him in the same way again. Once the best pitcher in youth league, Nick now walks with a limp and is dependent on a heavy leg brace. He isn’t sure he will ever return to the mound, never mind be the star he once was.

When Nick starts working for Mr. Churchill, the owner of the semiprofessional team Nick’s dad plays for, he meets Satchel Paige, arguably the best pitcher in the world. Not allowed in the major leagues because of his skin color, Satchel teaches Nick that some things can be overcome with hard work and dedication, and that just because you’re down, you are most certainly not out.

As Satchel and his unique teammates barnstorm toward a national baseball tournament, Nick wonders if he can really overcome what seems like the impossible and pitch again.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442433472 | 
  • February 2013 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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Read an Excerpt

Nick stared at the strike zone and took a deep breath. That was something his dad had taught him; he said it relaxed your shoulders and cleared your head. As soon as Nick’s lungs were empty, he began his windup, the movements as smooth and natural as the breath he had just taken, until—

SMACK! The rubber ball nailed the center of the chalk square on the wall, skipped neatly on the polished linoleum, and landed next to Nick in the hospital bed.

“Twenty-nine,” Nick said to himself.

He picked up the ball, focused on the chalk target again, and took another breath. But before he could begin his windup,... see more

About the Author

Wes Tooke
Photograph © Virgina Benitez

Wes Tooke

C. W. Tooke has worked as a feature writer and editorial consultant and has published features in Salon, New Jersey Monthly, and the Princeton Alumni Weekly. His first novel, Lucky was a Junior Library Guild Selection. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and dog.

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