Keeping Score

Written by Linda Sue Park
Review by Nancy Castaldo

Linda Sue Park has captured 1951 Brooklyn and hit a home run with her latest release, Keeping Score. Many writers are told to write what they know. Newbery medalist Park did just that. An avid baseball fan, she has written a story of a young girl, Maggie, who loves the sport as much as she does. Maggie, called Maggie-O, after her father’s favorite baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, doesn’t play the game herself, but rather keeps the score for each of her beloved Dodgers’ games. Even with her enthusiasm and prayers the Dodgers can’t seem to win the World Series. Her disappointment multiplies after her letters to Jim, her baseball mentor and friend, go unanswered while he is serving in the army in Korea. Maggie is heartbroken when she finds out that Jim is suffering silently in the United States. What ensues is a moving story of friendship and team loyalty. Like so many touched by the Korean War, I admire her approach and the information added in the Author’s Note. Keeping Score is a perfect book for baseball fans and even those who never picked up a bat and ball themselves. Ages 9-12.