Friday, January 4, 2013

Review Day: Mickey Tussler

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I have two books for you.

Author: Frank Nappi
Title 1: The Legend of Mickey Tussler
Title 2: Sophomore Campaign - A Mickey Tussler Novel
My Rating: 4 Stars

Description (title 1):
In the late 1940s, the minor league Milwaukee Brewers are foundering yet again and manager Arthur Murphy is desperate. When he sees seventeen-year old Mickey Tussler throwing apples into a barrel, he knows he has found the next pitching phenom. But not everyone is so hopeful. Mickey’s autism—a disorder still not truly understood even today—has alienated the boy from the world, and he is berated by other players and fans. Mickey faces immense trials in the harsh and competitive world of baseball while coping with the challenges inherent to his disorder. An honest and knowledgeable book about overcoming adversity, and the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes, Mickey’s powerful story shows that with support and determination anyone can be triumphant, even when the odds are stacked against him.

Description (title 2):
It’s 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey’s proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season’s violent conclusion, his manager—and now surrogate father—Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionally fragile, socially awkward boy with autism into giving it another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to the field and must once again cope with the violence and hatred around him. When a young African American player joins the team, the entire team is subjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Struggling to understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearful of reprisal should he tell anyone about what he has seen, the boy’s performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.

My Review (both titles):
Both of these novels are incredibly impressive and moving.  Mickey Tussler is an icon for autism, people with disabilities, and baseball fans.  Frank Nappi created a story so incredibly believable, I still think the character is a real baseball pitcher for the Brewers in 1948 and 49.  (I actually looked it up to make sure he wasn't.)  Frank created settings that were very controversial from the late '40s - in book 1, people who didn't understand an autistic man; in book 2 - integrating baseball teams.  He approached both subjects with ease and strength - showing the good and bad sides of it and how people really do act in these types of situations.

I'm very impressed with these novels.  They are very well written and touching.  The novels will warm your heart, make you fall in-love with the characters (and hate others), realize how far society has come, and how much baseball is still one of the most iconic sports in the US.  Baseball fans will absolutely love these novels.  Frank taught me so much about baseball all the while teaching me even more about autism.  These beautiful novels are going to make an amazing movie, that I can't wait to see!

About the Author, Frank Nappi:
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story, and is presently at work on a third installment of the unique series. Frank lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Purchase your own copy of the Mickey Tussler Novels on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.  Keep up with Frank Nappi on his website, his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, the official movie website, and the blog tour Facebook.


Tribute Books said...

Hilary, thanks for the moving, beautifully written review. I'm so glad you truly enjoyed Frank's series. We appreciate your heartfelt comments :)

Frank Nappi said...

Thank you for the review - I am thrilled that you enjoyed my Mickey Tussler series. Thank you for your time and your thoughtful feedback.


HilyBee said...

Thank you too Nicole and Frank! :D