“Two best friends. One spot on the team.” Either Joey, the powerful, home run hitter, or Zach, the consistent contact hitter and all-star shortstop will be selected to play on the Center State baseball team. Tim Green’s, Force Out, takes the reader on a magnificent journey filled with excitement and anxiety.
After learning that there is only one position available on Center State baseball team, Joey and Zach are devastated. Their dream of making the team together is no longer possible. As a result of this, their friendship is in jeopardy and tensions arise between the two boys as they both strive to do their best in the tryouts in order to be selected for the team. The author truly pushes their friendship to the brink and sends a message to the reader about the importance of this friendship. For instance, after realizing that Zach is having private batting lessons with a coach they both used to work with, the rivalry between the two boys explodes, and Joey questions their relationship while the author comments, “Whatever happened between him (Joey) and Zach in the past melted away in a nuclear blast of rage and envy. This was war.”
Reading Force Out, is like waiting to hear an umpire’s final call in an important baseball game – suspenseful. Like so many of Green’s books, this book is filled with cliffhangers at the end of many chapters that beckons the reader to keep turning the pages. For instance, in the last sentence of chapter 81, there is a significant event during tryouts that the author describes as a, “A race between Joey’s leg and Zach’s arm.” The suspense while waiting to determine if Joey reached the base before Zach’s throw is irresistible and the reader yearns to discover the umpire’s call. In addition, because of Green’s spectacular foreshadowing, the reader is constantly trying to predict whether Joey or Zach will make the team. Furthermore, the reader questions the value of their friendship as tryouts intensify throughout the story. This book is similar to another work by this author, Kid Owner. In this story two boys on the same team, compete against each other for the starting quarterback position on their middle school football team. Like many of his books, this story falls into the “Sports” genre, so I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys sports. In conclusion, Tim Green’s, Force Out, is an amazing book that will take the reader on an exciting race around the bases and teach the importance of being a good teammate, no matter the end result.