Item description for The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ballpark by Paul Mullen...
Michael "Fuji" Powers stands at the plate in the driving rain with the count two-and-two. He's one pitch away from living out his dream of hitting a home run at Great American Ball Park. However, on his way to becoming a Cincinnati legend he learns the importance of family, and there is one special girl he befriends that helps him gain the courage to start believing in himself. THE DAY I HIT A HOME RUN AT GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK is a coming-of-age story that will appeal to all age groups.
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The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park Dec 1, 2007
It's all up to Fuji. Michael "Fuji" Powers, the youngest son in a fairly large family, is the last hope for the Powers family. His father had always dreamed of making it to the major leagues, to actually play at Great American Ball Park. When that didn't happen, the task was passed onto his sons. In turn, each of his brothers tried to fulfill that ambition without success. Now, it's Fuji's turn.
In The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park, Fuji gets to live the dream. Not only does he get the call to play for the Withamsville-Tobasco Cardinals but he plays at Great American Ball Park. It's a game (and a story) that you won't want miss.
The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park is a classic story that warms the heart and keeps the dream machine going. Fuji is a great guy. He's just an average American boy who is always overlooked that is suddenly trust into the limelight.
Deja vu in stereo Nov 30, 2007
Talk about déjà vu in stereo! On the one hand I'm reading The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park and on the other I am reliving memories of my sandlot baseball days in junior high on the heavily-treed school yard lot. I had intended to scan the book to see if my nephew would enjoy Paul Mullen's book but got so enthralled with my own days on the diamond that I finished the book before reaching for my now-cold coffee.
I love the special sandlot rules - into the woods in left field is an out, over Stover's fence a home run, into Stover's pool a two-run homer. On my school yard ball field there was a large oak tree immediately foul of first-base. If the ball bounced off the tree in fair it was playable; otherwise foul. If the ball was hit high into the tree and started ricocheting from left to right on the way down you could make a last minute leap for an out. And we didn't play barefoot because stomping down on an acorn could be painful.
Mullen's colorful descriptive language produced other instant memories - like when he describes his father's Old Spice cologne as smelling like "vanilla cream coffee." And in this day of wild-eyed hockey moms and fanatic Little League parents it was refreshing to hear Dad whispers to Michael, "Don't worry son. Whatever happens, you're still my boy."
What a wonderful story and delightful read. This is a story not only about baseball and youthful dreams but about character and how to live life without regrets. And, oh yes, my nephew enjoyed The Day I hit a Home Run almost as much as I did.
Home run! Nov 20, 2007
Reviewed by Karma Barry (age 13) for Reader Views (11/07)
"The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park" is an inspirational read that tells the story of a young boy who is trying to reach his goals and commands you to never give up. A magnificent author, Paul Mullen can give an everyday pass time flavor in a story by using genius comedy and the life of being the youngest in a line of brothers. "Everybody line up, and Bill and I will choose sides." "Did I hear an echo?" Lovers of baseball and coming-of-age stories will reread this book, no matter what the age, and will keep an eye open for more of Paul Mullen's works, though I am not sure if there are anymore.
I have never played baseball on an official team but I have played for a volleyball team, and the pressure of some of the games was brought back as I continued to read and was intensified the further I was through the book. I also relearned some things I already knew from another perspective: Never give up on your dreams, Nothing is impossible, and Never stop believing.
I will be looking for more of Paul Mullen's works in search of more inspirational stories. The story in "The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park" is one that I will be keeping in my heart for a long time and I hope that others who read it will feel the same way.
Mullen proves that he is quite adept at working a few threads with writing that is poignant, captivating and a pleasure to read. Nov 19, 2007
The world of a 12-year old sixth grade youngster is very often filled with many challenges and is not always a smooth sail, as we learn from Paul Mullen's debut young adult novel, The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park.
Mullen's story takes us into the life of young Michael "Fuji" Powers, who is the youngest of his family consisting of three brothers, two sisters and parents, living fifteen miles east of Cincinnati. He was nicknamed "Fuji" because his brothers taunted him, claiming that he was adopted from Japanese royalty, as he didn't bear a resemblance to anyone else in their family being small, short and around five-foot-three.
As the story gradually unfolds, we notice that what appears to be meaningless events eventually build up to an moving climax. We immediately discover that all Michael ever wanted to do was play baseball and his ultimate goal was to one- day play at his dream baseball park, Great American Ball Park, the official base ball-stadium of the Cincinnati Reds. And he would be the last of his brothers to have a shot at playing in this great baseball park.
Michael's big opening to realize his dreams arrives when he tries out and makes the Withamsville-Tobasco "WT" Cardinals, a class "C" ball club that for fifteen years had been perennial Clermont County champs. This was most likely the first big challenge he ever faced in his young life for he had to prove to his overbearing father as well as his sometimes annoying brothers and friends that even the smallest kid who has the will and love for baseball can live out his dream. Michael was also love-struck with thirteen-year old Cathy Stuckman who could hold in her own as a ballplayer with any of her male classmates. Cathy was a little older and a head taller than Michael, however this did not deter him from chasing after her. However, unfortunately, Michael had to compete with his fifteen-year-old brother Dave, or as he was nicknamed "Salty," for Cathy's affection.
Sadly, Michael's first game with the Withamsville-Tobasco "WT" Cardinals was not exactly his finest. To add insult to injury not only was he ridiculed by some of his team mates for his pitiable performance but he was also subjected to some verbal and physical abuse from his father who reminded him that if it were not for him pulling a few strings, Michael would never had made the team.
Michael is also reprimanded for not being serious in understanding that this was his one shot to play on a major league field. Deeply upset and angry, Michael decides that he had enough, and possibly for the first time in his life, stands up to his father and shouts "It's your dream, not mine, maybe I don't want to live in this family anymore." Upon hearing these words, Michael's father, who is fuming, stops their van and shoves Michael out on the street. However, Michael's mother's maternal instincts take control and she hollers at her other son Billy to take Michael home on his brother's Davey's bicycle.
Notwithstanding the unrelenting bullying by one of Michael's team -mates as well as the embarrassment he feels when his coach hauls him over the coals in front of his girlfriend Cathy, Michael does manage to improve his baseball skills during the course of the season. His big break crops up when a ball squad from a higher league drafts the team's superstar just prior to the final championship game. The team's coach now turns to Michael and calls upon him to replace their star player. You can well imagine the pressure placed on a twelve-year old when he is asked to fill the shoes of the team's hero!
Mullen proves that he is quite adept at working a few threads with writing that is poignant, captivating and a pleasure to read. The characterization of Michael is appealing to young as well as adult readers as we follow his quest in fulfilling his mission of not only playing at his dream baseball park but also becoming a hero to his team -mates, family, friends, and his girlfriend Cathy. In addition, the story succeeds where so many similar books fail as Mullen educates his readers in depicting the realities of life with its ups and downs thus managing to make it not only a good yarn but also thought provoking in a way that kids will be able to relate on at least some level.
As a footnote, I would like to mention according to the publicity material I received, that Paul Mullen is on a mission to combat the illiteracy that exists among 6 million middle and high school students who are unable to read at basic reading levels. It is a problem, as he states, "that we as a society can't afford to ignore." The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park was crafted specifically to address illiteracy among these children. Apparently, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has expressed a need for 30, 000 copies of the book, if funding can be found. Mullen is actively searching for donations and corporate sponsors to help make this and other placements of the book a reality.
Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor Bookpleasures
A good read Nov 9, 2007
I really enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me of my childhood. Friends and family are great features to everyones life.