A straight-talking, fourteen-year-old first baseman, benched by mono, decides to take a swing at writing poetry in Ron Koertge's clever, compelling new novel written in free verse. Their pitcher walks our leadoff man.Greg moves him up to second with a perfectsacrifice. Fabian loops one into right. I'm up. Two on, one out. I'm the cleanupman. My job is to bring these guys home. MVP Kevin Boland gets the news that he has mono and won't be seeing a baseball field for a while, and he suddenly finds himself scrawling a poem down the middle of a page in his journal. To get some help, he cops a poetry book from his dad's den. Before Kevin knows it, he's writing in verse about stuff like, Will his jock friends give up on him? What's the deal with girlfriends? Surprisingly enough, after his health improves, he keeps on writing - about the smart-talking Latina girl who thinks poets are cool, even about his mother, whose death is a still-tender loss for which he finally finds the words. Written in free verse with examples of several poetic forms slipped into the mix, including a sonnet, haiku, pastoral, and even a pantoum, this funny, poignant story by a master of dialogue is an English teacher's dream - sure to hook poetry lovers, baseball fanatics, mono recoverers, and everyone in between.