Diving Catch

Children - Grade 4th-6th
454 Pages
Reviewed on 07/28/2018
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Author Biography

Gregory Saur is the author of several novels for young readers including "Soccer Star" and "Royal Pains and Angels in the Outhouse". His novel "The Pond Scum Gang" was shortlisted for the Gertrude Warner Book Award for Middle Grade Readers in 2017. A native of Virginia, he has played in multiple championship games and won many, all on diving catches, and all in his imagination. He plans to continue his remarkable baseball career . . . as a writer.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite

Diving Catch by Gregory Saur is a gritty novel about a thirteen-year-old boy called Devon Horner who lives with his grandma in a less wealthy part of town. Preston Whiteside, the neighbourhood drug dealer, wants Devon to work for him. However, Devon is not interested and is trying to keep away before he lands himself in a whole heap of trouble. He hides out at a local baseball game and meets up with Henry, who is a different color and a lot wealthier. They come together over a common love of baseball and a fear of the drug dealer, but their friendship is a rocky one. When drugs are found in one of the schools, a student reporter does her best to find out who brought them in. There are more than a few suspects. Mystery and adventure play out among the boys and their favourite game, baseball.

The opening chapter of Diving Catch provides a glimpse into the chaotic life of Devon Horner when he is apprehended in the street by the local drug dealer. I was batting for him from the word go and desperately wanted him to escape the horrors he might endure. This was the beginning of my affection for Devon which lasted throughout the book. Gregory Saur provides the reader with an eloquently written but hard-hitting taste of the problems facing teenagers today. Racial tension is mixed with friendship, drug use and love. I was pleased to see that family and church played a significant part in their lives. However, the thing that linked them all, and which dominated the book, was the game of baseball. Teenagers keen on the game will absolutely love this book.