CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 11 . . . . February 1, 2002
Connor Wells, 13, is spending his summer holidays in Winnipeg with his baseball loving cousins, the Campbell's. The problem is Connor knows nothing about the game, a situation which must change. C.A. Forsyth's novel, Power Hitter, chronicles Connor's baseball summer with his relatives. For the baseball fan, this latest novel in the "Sports Stories" series will be an opportunity to cheer for an unlikely hero as he learns the rudiments of the game while displaying his prowess at driving the ball over the farthest fence. The detailed accurate descriptions of playing baseball will be most enjoyable. The fact that Connor's mother is at home in Ontario battling cancer and his father is in Florida celebrating with his new wife the birth of a son will not matter.
Forsyth spends little time exploring these other themes in Connor's life. They are not of any consequence other than to provide the circumstances necessary to get Connor to his ball-loving cousins. This omission is the major flaw of Power Hitter. Connor's reactions to his situation with his parents is somewhat unbelievable. Connor does not know his mother has cancer or that his father has remarried and has a new son until he overhears a conversation. His reaction is brief, yet angry, and quickly given a back seat to a ball practice and the game. He is easily satisfied with a few kind words and accepting of his mother's illness after a short apology from her. Connor's emotional growth has no parallel in this story with his physical development as a baseball player.
If you want to read about the development of a young ball player's skills, you will enjoy reading Power Hitter. If you want to read about the emotional development of a ball player in the face of personal adversity, look elsewhere.
Martin Noonan is a teacher living in Old Perlican, Newfoundland.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.