Friday Reads: Screaming at the Ump by Audrey Vernick

Vernick063 Baseball season is underway and many of us head out to the ball park when we can.  Along that line of thought, the 2016 Summer Reading Program topic is about being active, with slogans “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!,” “Get in the Game: Read” and “Exercise Your Mind – Read.”   (I know, the 2015 summer reading program is just getting underway, I am reading ahead now.)  All of this brought me to read Screaming at the Ump by Audrey Vernick. Casey Snowden’s father and grandfather run a sanctioned school for baseball umpires, and Casey (12) and his best friend Zeke help each fall.  This September they have only 80 students instead of the usual 100 and Casey begins to worry about the future.  He wants to be a sports writer, not run the camp, but he knows it is his father’s calling.  As the school gets underway, Casey realizes one instructor is not teaching this year.  He was usually in charge of the culminating event: “You Suck, Ump! Day” where many people from the town gather to yell at the students to help them learn to deal with noise and irritated fans.  So this year Casey and Zeke will organize the day.  Though I am not first in line for sports books, this one grabbed me, especially its title.  A fun look inside the mind of a twelve-year-old boy, and at what it takes to be an umpire. After reading the book I enjoyed looking over this page to find out more about actual umpire schools.
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