Monday, July 11, 2016
Frank Nappi - Welcome to the Show - Review & Giveaway
About the Book
It’s 1950 and Mickey Tussler—the now-famous pitching prodigy with autism and a golden arm—is back for another baseball season in this third installment of Frank Nappi’s critically acclaimed Legend of Mickey Tussler series. Talk of Mickey’s legendary exploits on the field has grown since his improbable debut two years prior, as have the fortunes of Murph and the rest of the lovable ragtag Brew Crew. Now Mickey, Murph, and Lester find themselves heading to Bean Town to play for the Boston Braves.
The call up is sweet, for all of them have overcome insurmountable odds to get where they are. But life in the major leagues is filled with fast-paced action both on and off the field. The bright lights of Boston hold a new series of challenges, hardships, and life lessons—especially for Mickey, who finds himself a long way from throwing apples into a barrel back on the farm. The three newest Braves have each other to lean on, as well as a new group of fans who are swept away by pennant fever, but balancing everything this new world has to offer may prove to be the greatest challenge of all.
A character like Mickey Tussler captured my interest right off the bat because I've never read a book about a Major League Baseball player with autism. Autistic people aren't known for being able to express themselves verbally. So author Frank Nappi brings him to life by using the people around him to draw out his personality.
I liked the approach of using several different points of view to tell the story. It allowed me to see Mickey through the eyes of the supporting characters. I was able to grasp a richer picture of his traumatic background and his day-to-day struggles to fit in. It made me realize just how big of a mountain he was trying to climb when his mom kept worrying about how the other guys on the team were treating him, and when he had such a hard time talking to a girl he really liked, my heart just went out to him.
But I think I got an even clearer picture of what Mickey was going through whenever he interacted with his teammates. At first, Ozzy, the star player on the team wanted nothing to do with him, calling him names and going out of his way to be extra nasty to him. Yet after giving the kid a hard time for practically the entire season, Mickey's genuine innocence (and brilliance on the pitching mound) eventually wins over even his harshest critic.
But it's the loyalty of those who are in Mickey's corner from the beginning that's the heart and soul of the book. His manager, Murph, believes in him through all his ups and downs and even puts his own career on the line when he keeps sending Mickey out to pitch, despite his inconsistencies and emotional meltdowns. He knows Mickey has the natural talent, but his ability to handle the distractions that keep coming at him, takes a lot of patience and understanding on Murph's part. And Mickey certainly wouldn't be able to succeed without his catcher, Lester, his battery mate who guides him through each and every game. He's aware of Mickey's weaknesses, yet he chooses to play to his strengths. Even an understanding friend like Lester can't get inside Mickey's head to see what he's thinking, but he does everything in his power to keep Mickey focused on the game at hand, giving Mickey the chance to shine on the field.
And I think that that's what I enjoyed the most about this book - the message that we can all be great despite our disabilities, or flaws, or whatever's holding us back. As long as we're there for other people, other people will be there for us.
Welcome to the Show can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble
Prices/Formats: $9.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
Genre: Sports, YA, Special Needs
Release: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony
Click to add to your Goodreads list.
About the Author
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty five years. His debut novel, ECHOES FROM THE INFANTRY, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Nappi continues to produce quality work, including SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the thriller, NOBODY HAS TO KNOW, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. The third installment of Nappi's Mickey Tussler series, WELCOME TO THE SHOW, was released April 2016, and he is currently working on his next thriller, AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE. Nappi lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
Links to connect with Frank:
About the Giveaway
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