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Can a young baseball star maintain his love of the game after the loss of his brother? Find out in this start to the Home Team series about a small town with high hopes, from New York Times bestselling author and sportswriting legend Mike Lupica.
Jack Callahan is the star of his baseball team and seventh grade is supposed to be his year. Undefeated season. Records shattered. Little League World Series. The works. That is, until he up and quits.
Jack’s best friend Gus can’t understand how Jack could leave a game that means more to them than anything else. But Jack is done. It’s a year of change. Jack’s brother has passed away, and though his family and friends and the whole town of Walton thinks baseball is just the thing he needs to move on, Jack feels it’s anything but.
In comes Cassie Bennett, star softball player, and the only person who seems to think Jack shouldn’t play if he doesn’t want to. As Jack and Cassie’s friendship deepens, their circle expands to include Teddy, a guy who’s been bullied because of his weight.
Time spent with these new friends unlocks something within Jack, and with their help and the support of his family and his old friends, Jack discovers sometimes it’s more than just the love of the game that keeps us moving forward—and he might just be able to find his way back to The Only Game, after all.
About the Author
Mike Lupica is the author of multiple bestselling books for young readers, including the Home Team series, QB 1, Heat, Travel Team, Million-Dollar Throw, and The Underdogs. He has carved out a niche as the sporting world’s finest storyteller. Mike lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children. When not writing novels, he writes for Daily News (New York) and is an award-winning sports commentator. You can visit Mike Lupica at MikeLupicaBooks.com.
“The Only Game is way more than a baseball novel. It’s a great story about fighting back after tragedy, and finding that place in your heart where courage comes from. This is absolutely Lupica’s best book.”
— Carl Hiaasen, author of HOOT and SKINK—No Surrender
“This is a page-turning and moving story that boys, girls, sports fans, and every kid will love to read."
— Alex Morgan, US women’s soccer player and Olympic gold-medalist
"I like life and I love baseball. Mike Lupica has written a powerful book about both. The Only Game is a moving story about love, loss, guilt and the power of trust and friendship that heals."
— Patricia MacLachlan, author of Newbery Award winner Sarah Plain and Tall.
"Lupica lays the foundation for a great sports series where friendship carries the characters through tribulations...this is more than a baseball book and will appeal to a wide variety of readers. A must-buy."
— School Library Journal
"a winner of a sports novel"
— Kirkus Reviews
"A natural choice for Matt Christopher and Tim Green fans."
"a heartfelt story"