Molly is an eighth grader who recently lost her father in a car accident. When he was alive, her dad played catch and watched baseball with her. He also taught her some pitching fundamentals, including how to throw a knuckleball (AKA The Butterfly Pitch). Rather than try out for softball the spring after he dies, Molly decides to try out for the baseball team. The boys baseball team.
This book really resonates with me. My dad and I bonded over the Chicago Cubs and APBA when I was a kid. We also used to play catch in the backyard (football in the fall, softball in the spring). He never taught me to pitch, but he did teach me to really understand and love the game. We had a lot of other things in common, but sports was a big one. He was also a journalist, as was Molly’s dad. My dad died five years ago. I still miss and think about him constantly, especially in April, when baseball season starts.