The BSD Book Bunny recommends: Miracle on 49th Street

The Butter Side Down Book Bunny agrees that Miracle on 49th Street is a great book

This last year a friend recommended I read a sports novel written by well-known sports columnist Mike Lupica. I made it through the first three chapters, and abandoned it, as the plot definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. However, a few weeks after that I discovered that Lupica had written a series of sports-based novels for young adults, and decided to sample one of those.

It was sort of like opening a box of chocolates. You can’t have just one chocolate, right? Like chocolates, each of these young adult novels has a slightly different flavor and appeal. And they’re just as yummy.

I’ve now read all of Mike Lupica’s young adult novels, and can recommend the entire kit and kaboodle as good reads for both teen and adult readers. Some of these novels, including Heat, and Travel Team I highly recommend, especially for sports-oriented teens.

One of his titles, however, Miracle on 49th Street, I not only recommend–it’s also officially joined my list of all-time favorite books.

The plot seems simple enough: after her mother’s death, twelve-year-old Molly learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of a basketball superstar for the Boston Celtics. It’s the development of that story, and the characters themselves, that stand out.

Part of the appeal is that Mike Lupica really knows his sports stuff, far beyond the knowledge most of us have of pro and amateur athletics, even the most dedicated fans. At the same time, he knows how to integrate his expertise in sports into his tale without beating the reader over the head with the fact that he has both great breadth and deep depth in his insider knowledge about professional sports and professional athletes. Additionally, the writing itself is truly excellent. And, unlike many stock young adult stories, the main characters aren’t cardboard cutouts.

But the biggest appeal for me is that Lupica writes a truly compelling tale about the situation that Molly finds herself in. This is a masterfully crafted tale about the moral and ethical dilemmas that arise as consequences for a child, written from the perspective of the child’s experiences, when that child is born from an out-of-wedlock sexual liaison. Add in a plot that explores what happens as Molly realizes that her father’s career, image, endorsements and income will truly be adversely impacted by the existence of a previously unknown illegitimate daughter–and that there are terrible pressures that those circumstances create that make her question her own belief that parental love must be unconditional–and you get a whale of a tale.

For more about the author, check out his website. Lupica has written a whole slew of young adult books, as well as several adult novels and non-fiction works. He is one of the nation’s preeminent sports columnists, a TV anchor on ESPN’s The Sports Reporter as well as the host of The Mike Lupica Show. If you’re a member of Bookshare, you can get an accessible copy of the book here.

For everyone else, here’s the book information. Miracle on 49th Street, by Mike Lupica. Published by Puffin, copyright 2007. It’s 256 pages in length, and available in everything from hardback and paperback to Kindle and audible book editions. Miracle on 49th Street does not contain any explicit sex, graphic violence or strong language.

Happy reading!

Argh!

Munch's The Scream, which is pretty much how I look right now, if I was standing in an orange landscape, male and skinny.  Or something like that.

Yeah, it’s been that kind of day.

Had one of my crowns (the dental type, not the wearing-on-head-princess-type, smarty-pants) break in half… just as the plumber drove off from his second round of working over our basement drains.

Ow.

*pitiful sniffle*

I’m ready for my pity party now, thank you very much.

The first person who says “suck it up and quit whining” is gonna get smacked with a crutch. Hard. You know who you are.

You’ve been warned.

(The rest of you–dig in to the cookies and chocolate–what’s a pity party without good food?)

Snack Attack!

One of my favorite treats as a kid was Ritz crackers. So, when I saw a write-up on a snack website that said that the Late July brand’s organic “Classic Rich Crackers” were as yummy as Ritz crackers, I shrugged and said, “Nah.”

Last week we discovered that our local organic grocery store had started carrying them. So, I had Michael buy a box for me, so I could check them out.

That was a mistake. A big mistake.

We shouldn’t have bought a box. No, indeed. Instead, we should have bought, oh, say, a case.

They aren’t good. They are incredible.

I hereby award them the first official BSD Yummy Award of 2011, because, man, they are yummy!

 OK, who ate the entire box of Late July brand crackers? Burp. Oops. Was that me? 'cuse me.

Here’s a photo I took of the front of the (sadly empty) box, in case you want to look for them to try them out.

Golly, I wonder what they’d taste like dipped in melted dark organic chocolate…?

*drool*