Twelve-year-old House Jackson — star pitcher and team captain of the Aurora County All-Stars — has been sidelined for a whole sorry year with a broken elbow. He’s finally ready to play, but wouldn’t you know that the team’s only game of the year has been scheduled for the exact same time as the town’s 200th-anniversary pageant. Now House must face the pageant’s director, full-of-herself Frances Shotz (his nemesis and perpetrator of the elbow break), and get his team out of this mess. There’s also the matter of a mysterious old recluse who has died and left House a wheezy old dog named Eudora Welty — and a puzzling book of poetry by someone named Walt Whitman.
Through the long, hot month of June, House makes surprising and valuable discoveries about family, friendship, poetry . . . and baseball.
Praise for The Aurora County All-Stars
"Batter up! National Book Award finalist Wiles (Each Little Bird That Sings) delivers the third book set in her fictional Aurora County — a more boy-friendly read than its predecessors, with plenty of talk about baseball and what constitutes a stalwart team. In the spirit of Ernest Thayer’s poem, Casey at the Bat, the energy during the game mounts, and sports fans will be on the edge of their seats to see which team triumphs. Quotations from Walt Whitman’s poetry, baseball players and Aurora County news dispatches pepper the story and add color; Love, Ruby Lavender fans will enjoy Ruby’s fortuitous cameo. A home run for Wiles." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Baseball makes a lively focus . . . The game play and the lingo are fun, as is the rambunctious farce." — Booklist
"It”s likely that many newcomers will want to read their way backward in the trilogy. Recommended." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children”s Books
"Readers will be on the edge of their seats with each inning of the big game and each chapter — what a crowd-pleasing novel!" — Children’s Literature
"Wiles connects . . . elements with snippets of Walt Whitman, quotes from baseball greats and the historical fact of segregation to forge a poignant and humorous coming-of-age story . . . with each iteration Aurora County becomes more real." — Kirkus Reviews