What You Need to Know:|
• The story takes place in the 1950’s and readers are exposed to details of the Korean War, including Americans
shooting civilians and the death of a young Korean boy.
• Maggie does her best to try to understand the war, even relating it to baseball.
• There are many details on the game of baseball and the art of scoring a game.
• Maggie learns that nothing we do is a waste of time because you never know what will happen in life.
• There is also a message of empowerment for women as Maggie and her friend discuss what sort of careers they will
have when they grow up.
• There are some religious references, including prayers, confirmation and confession.
Margaret Olivia Fortini (Maggie) is a nine year old girl living in Brooklyn in the 1950’s and she loves baseball. Not just any team but the Brooklyn Dodgers. She listens to the games on the radio with the guys down at the firehouse where her father used to work before he was injured and moved to a desk job. When a new guy, Jim starts at the firehouse he and Maggie strike a friendship bonded by their love of baseball. Although Jim is a fan of the rival Giants, they find common ground in their enjoyment of listening to the game. Jim even teaches Maggie how to score the games and she works at it diligently.
A powerful story for both boys and girls, the Keeping Score spans five years as the Dodgers continue to lose and Maggie continues to face disappointment from her favorite team. While baseball is the highlight of Maggie’s world, she is exposed to so much more when Jim goes off to fight in the Korean War. Their friendship continues and when Jim suffers from his experience their, Maggie does her best to try to help.
Linda Sue Park
2008, 194 pages
Family Life, Friendship, History, Sports, War, Urban