Here’s first time guest reviewer Nathan and his mom, JoAnn writing about something they both love, baseball. Nathan and my son have been on the same baseball team for the past three years. When I saw this book, it shouted Nathan’s name.
Wow! What a good read about a young man and his Grandpa. Oliver’s Game by Matt Tavares takes place in Chicago where the Chicago Cubs baseball team plays in season at the famous Wrigley Field. It is also the story about a boy who really likes the game of baseball much like our son Nathan feels about the game.
It was fun to read the book together, seeing Nathan get excited about the book and the story of a young boy liking the same sport he likes. The boy’s Grandpa, in the story, was such a huge baseball fan that he actually got to try out with the Cubs in 1945. However, the war broke out and he went to fight for his country, was wounded and then told he could never play baseball again. So, he went on with his life, had a family and opened this really neat store, “Hall’s Nostalgia” where he collected and kept memorabilia from over the years. His grandson found an old Cubs uniform (the uniform he got to keep from his tryout) that had the Cubs official logo and his Grandpa then told him the story of his big ‘tryout’ with the team just before wore broke out. Grandpa gave the uniform to his grandson because he could see this meant just as much to his grandson as it did to him when he tried out with the team back in 1945, the same year the Cubs made it to The World Series. Grandpa was proud to share and give this precious gift to his grandson. Even though Grandpa did not ever get to play for the Cubs, he knew then “the game of baseball was more than just the players on the field.” Everyone is a part of baseball, from the fans to the guys selling the hot dogs in the stands!
While reading this book with Nathan, I got tears in my eyes knowing some of the facts to be true. You see, my Dad was a massive Cubs fan and also fought in the war from 1942 through 1945 when it ended. I remember the stories my dad told me as a child about how he and his friends used to climb the back wall of Wrigley Field to sneak a peek at the game on the day when the Cubs (cubbies) were in town.
This special book was definitely a most enjoyable read for Nathan and me. The look on Nathan’s face was priceless as he read the book. The excitement created while reading about Oliver and his Grandpa is one not often found in books about baseball. It brought heartwaming smiles to my face as I recalled the stories told to me by my father.
Reading takes one into a whole other world, often emotional and educational and Nathan and I were overjoyed to have been on this journey together. We would certainly read more books by this author Matt Tavares.