The Bat Boy and His Violin
Publication Date: April 1, 1998
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"Is -- Reginald -- at -- it -- again?" Papa shouts between notes.
"Hush up," Mama says, "I just love this one."
Papa sometimes comes home in a bad mood because he's the manager of the Dukes -- the worst team in the Negro National League.
Reginald loves his violin. His constant practice pays off in floods of beautiful music. But Papa could care less about Reginald's "fiddling." He's more concerned about the Dukes's losing streak, and he needs his son for something other than playing music. When Papa makes Reginald the Dukes's bat boy, Reginald worries that his practice time will suffer, and that he won't be ready for his recital. He takes on every free moment he can find to play, and ends up filling the dugout with Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Soon the Dukes begin to shake their bad luck. But there's still that big game against the Monarchs, and there's still Papa's heart that needs winning over.
In this beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit, Gavin Curtis captures a very special period in history. Award-winning artist E.B. Lewis brings the warmth of this powerful story to life with his lush watercolor paintings.
E.B. Lewis is the award-winning illustrator of such books as Virgie Goes to School With Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald, which was a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, and This Little Light of Mine. He received the Caldecott Honor for Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes. E.B. Lewis lives in New Jersey, and you can visit him online at EBLewis.com.