Painting the Black
By Carl Deuker
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780395828489, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 1997
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In his senior year of high school, late bloomer Ryan Ward has just begun to feel the magic of baseball - the magic of catching a wicked slider, of throwing a runner out, of training hard and playing hard and pushing his limits. Giving up baseball would be like getting off the most exciting ride of his life. But when one of his teammates clearly pushes the limits too far, Ryan is faced with a heartbreaking dilemma: he must choose between his love for the game and his sense of integrity - two things that, in his mind, baseball should bring together.
Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.
"Deuker, adept at capturing the thrills during the game, proves talented at dramatizing Ryan's torment in the face of his friend's deeds; the depiction of a boy coming into his own is resonant and inspring." Kirkus Reviews