This written in verse sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup (2003) reintroduces readers to Kevin, a 14-year-old baseball player and poet. He’s coming to terms with his mom’s death and trying to sort out how he feels about his dad’s new forays into dating as well as his own feelings about his girlfriend, Mira. When he meets Amy, a fellow poet, at an open-mic, things begin to get even more confusing.
This slice of life novel is the perfect subject matter for its format — it is told as journal entries from Kevin’s point of view and his irreverent and funny voice is filled with honesty. I’m not normally a fan of novels written in verse, but Koertge has a knack for it — a light, clever-with-words touch that is never bogged down with unnecessary drama. I also must admit that I’ve never read Shakespeare Bats Cleanup (shameful, I know!), and this sequel stands very well on its own.
A unique, quick read that will likely appeal to many a middle school reader.
-Brooke, McArthur Teen Librarian