Sunday, October 25, 2015

No Place / Todd Strasser / 262 pages

There was once a famous baseball player called Shoeless Joe Jackson.  Maybe some day he'd be known as Homeless Dan Halprin.  He'd been scouted by Rice University and ready to attend on a baseball scholarship, earned by his pitching prowess.  Then their home was foreclosed on, they moved into his financially strapped lawyer uncle's fancy house.  Tension was thick in the house as neither of his parents had jobs.  He mom couldn't find one.  With the bad economy, stockbrokers were a dime a dozen.  His dad had lost several jobs and was not interested in looking for another.  The family moves to Dignityville, a tent city for the homeless in the center of Median.  Needless to say, Dan is embarrassed.  His girlfriend, Talia, is well-to-do and a hot, popular chick.  She'd started dating him because he was a popular, studly jock - not a popular, studly, homeless jock.  Will he lose her too?  Finding uncomfortable and uncanny similarities between his plight and the Judd's in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Dan parrots..."A man's got to do what he's got to do..."

"When every thing's going wrong, it's sometimes hard to do what's right."
Just as every baseball is slightly different, so is every human being, and like every pitch, every human will follow its own unique path."
"One third of this country is living at, or near, poverty level."
"When you play team sports, you learn that what a player does off the field can be just as important as what he or she does on it.  You represent your town and school."

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