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Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever

For Ages: 8 - 12
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Louis isn’t very good at playing baseball, but he knows and loves the game more than anybody. He loves the purity of the sport, the sound of the crack of a bat, and the smell of freshly cut grass in the stadium. And more than anything, he loves the New York Yankees. So when he becomes a bat boy for the team during the summer of 1961, it is a dream come true. Lucky gives readers baseline box seats to one of the most memorable seasons in sports history, and as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris compete in their legendary home-run race, Louis learns that the heroes he looks up to can teach him life lessons that will change him forever.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439158258 | 
  • February 2010 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile 860
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Read an Excerpt

Top of the First

Louis sat next to his father in the second row of Yankee Stadium, roughly even with the third-base bag. His father was talking with one of his clients as Louis filled out a scorecard. This was the fifth game that Louis had attended this season. The first three had been during the Yankees’ sluggish start, but the fourth had come during the furious stretch when the team shot into second place behind the Tigers. Louis believed that you could always tell how the team was doing just by the mood in the stadium. During a losing streak the crowd was quick to boo or heckle the players, but now, with the team... see more

Bottom of the First

Louis and his father returned to White Plains on the 6:45 p.m. train. The town was already quiet, and as they walked through the empty parking lot to the car and drove through the deserted streets, Louis wished that it was the middle of the day. He wanted to show someone—anyone—the ball. He wanted to find one of the stickball players and describe the catch. He wanted to tell the story of how he had actually spoken to Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris—and, best of all, how Mr. Houk had asked him, Louis May, to be a batboy for the New York Yankees.

But instead Louis was alone with his... 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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