Monday, October 8, 2012

Inexplicable Book Review: Everything Matt Christopher

From Amazon. Dot Com.
Piggybacking on my last post, which was about The Angel Park All-Stars, one of the few young adult series aimed at boys… There was one author who consistently wrote for boys, and if you are a guy, you probably know his name – Matt Christopher.

If you can think of a sport, Matt Christopher wrote a book about an earnest youngster overcoming his struggles in it and eventually succeeding. Off the top of my head, I can think of hoops, baseball and soccer books with these themes, but Wikipedia tells me that he also wrote books about golf, volleyball, snowboarding and dirt bike racing. (Really???)

I remember him most for his seminal work, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. The book came out in 1972 – yikes – but I probably read it when I was in first or second grade, around 1990. The work is exactly what it says on the tin. A kid sucks at baseball, but after speaking with a Mysterious Stranger, he only hits home runs until the final game of the season.

Surprisingly, I don’t think any of his books were optioned into movies. Maybe he just had no interest in that, but pretty much all of them could have been done seamlessly in the Mighty Ducks / generic Disney sports movie mold. He died in 1997, so I’m presuming that he had interest from studios at some point.

Anyway, if you’re a parent of a young child and reading this, first, please stop. It’s probably bad for you to be reading anything I write. But secondly, go get your kid some Matt Christopher books. They’re easily digestible for the kid mind.


  1. Yeah, Matt Christopher's work was certainly seminal. My brother never read anything when he was a kid. Dad took him to the library. "What do you like?" "Baseball." Dad took him to look for baseball books. He took out a bunch of Matt Christopher ones, especially "The Kid Who Only Hit Homers." Now my brother is an elementary school teacher who specializes in helping kids get interested in reading.

    1. Aw, what a redeeming story! I remember being really into three things when I was a kid from a reading perspective - 1) Sports books 2) The Boxcar Children and 3) The Phantom Tollbooth. I haven't read the Boxcar books to see how they hold up - maybe I should for a future blog - but The Phantom Tollbooth is still a great, clever book.


Try not to be too much of an ass, unless completely necessary. You are subject to tyrannical moderation.


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