Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase (HarperCollins Canada, 2005)
AFTER THE PARTY, and for the rest of the summer, I couldn’t stop thinking about girls and baseball. I was beginning to think Ralph was right about the connection between the two. Both look pretty simple from the outside: there’s a ball, you hit it, you run; there’s a girl, you like her, you take her out. But in the end, they both end up being way more complicated.
Life is changing for Darcy Spillman. Being the quiet, baseball-crazy kid was fine in primary school when you had two best friends to hang with, but the rulebook is different in junior high. Ralph’s defected to the in-crowd. Nerdy Dwight finds a new friend who’s even nerdier. But Danalda Chase, the impossibly pretty, totally cool girl, is suddenly very interested in Darcy, and he’s not sure what to do. He can’t ask his grandpa, who’s been acting very strange lately — and the only thing Darcy knows is baseball. Maybe the rules of the game will work for his social life?
In a funny, often poignant and always intelligent story, Matt Beam mines the classic connections between baseball, love and life. With its combination of sensitive hero and baseball lore, Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase will resonate with both boys and girls.
Starred Selection for Our Choice, CCBC, 2006
“…the story is engaging, Darcy’s likeable, and there’s a kissing-in-the-closet scene that’s unforgettable.” – Quill & Quire
“…such an apt depiction of the transition to junior high! It captures the confusion, the uncertainty, the subtle but oh-so-real shifts in relationships…The focus on the baseball metaphor and Darcy’s determination to use the rules of baseball to make sense of his world (and the scary world of girls!) is a delightful and inventive touch.” – Canadian Children’s Book News