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The Aurora County All-Stars

The Aurora County All-Stars Cover

The Aurora County All-Stars

By Deborah Wiles

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, Hardcover, 9780152060688, 242pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2007

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's200th-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

* “A poignant and humorous coming-of-age story. . . . Although some characters appeared in previous novels, this one stands on its own, and with each iteration Aurora County becomes more real." (starred review)

* “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. . . . A home run for Wiles." (starred review)

"There''s much to savor: bubbly prose (a little girl ''twinkles'' down some steps, House ''bulldozes'' to a stage); a dog named Eudora Welty and a kid named Parting Schotz; a wonderfully convoluted plot involving an old man''s death ''at the simmering time just before daybreak,'' a sheaf of Walt Whitman quotes; a Fourth of July pageant; lots of baseball lore; and a cliffhanger of an all-star game that brings the whole town together. As one character sighs, ''It''s positively Thornton Wilder.'' But it''s Thornton Wilder on a sugar high--and that''s some high."