Tuesday, May 27, 2014


You can turn your kids loose with this book, boys or girls.
SCREAMING AT THE UMP by Audrey Vernick, Clarion Books, 2014

Casey is twelve, wants to be a sports journalist, and lives with his dad and grandfather who run an umpire school, Behind the Plate. Casey probably knows as much--maybe more--about baseball as anyone who hangs out at the ballpark all spring, summer, and fall.  

What about that other season? Casey hears a rumor that his dad might move the school to Florida so they can train umpires all year long. It’s hard to play baseball in the winter in New Jersey. Move? His journalist’s antennae zing to life. His personal life could take a bad bounce just when he think he knows the score.

That’s not the most sensational story Casey pursues, however. He discovers the importance of considering all the angles before he makes a call. 

Characters are honest and stick up for each other when they should. Conflicts are handled with good sense and kid humor. Villains and bullies do not crowd the plate here. Thank goodness, There are lots of those books out there. It’s nice to have an honest to goodness baseball book with real home runs.

This Casey doesn’t strike out.

The author lives in New Jersey, but you can visit her at her website.



  1. Thank you for this wonderful review, Joan. You made my day!

    1. Thank YOU, Audrey. I've spent a few teeth chattering days at Little League practices in NJ. What a parent-bonding experience! Best of luck from a much warmer state, way down south.

  2. Thanks for this title pick, Joan.
    Casey is a perfect name for an umpire in training.
    And those of us here in Florida who have moved here from N.J. (Hunterdon County, Quakerville) would wish he wouldn't feel so badly about a potential move. :)
    Finally, Umpire School? That's a new one on me & I'll bet, for young readers.
    Good wishes to Audrey on this new title.

    1. Thanks to you, Jan, another warm weather fan who still loves New Jersey. (I do, too.)

  3. I thought that this was a really good twist on baseball stories. This got a lot of interest in my library. Can't wait to see what Vernick will do next.

    1. How wonderful to know this! Thank you for commenting.


Hillview School Library