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Book Title: The Desperado Who Stole Baseball|
The author of the book: John H. Ritter
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 736 KB
Date of issue: March 5th 2009
ISBN 13: 9780399246647
Read full description of the books The Desperado Who Stole Baseball:Dillontown was built upon a gold mine. Yet for the villagers, life is about something even more valuable: baseball. Home to the Dillontown Nine, they would give anything to join the ranks of professional ballplayers?even their gold. Yet to make it, they will need to defeat the world champion Chicago White Stockings?and their crooked owner, willing to wager anything for the mine, and willing to do anything to avoid losing. Fortunately, Dillontown is home to two boys who know a little something about winning. One is young Jack Dillon, nephew to Dillontown founder Long John Dillon. The other? A boy on the run, in need of a second chance: none other than Billy the Kid.
One of the fi nest storytellers of our time, John H. Ritter brings the Old West to life in this prequel to his breakout success, The Boy Who Saved Baseball.
Read information about the authorNovelist John H. Ritter (born October 31, 1951, in San Pedro, California) grew up in the summer-dry hills east of San Diego. "I grew up in a baseball family," says John. "But we were also a family of musicians and mathematicians, house painters and poets. My dad was a sports writer in Ashtabula, Ohio, who moved the family out west, just before I was born, to become Sports Editor for The San Diego Union."
Growing up in a sparse, mountainous region also helped stretch John's imagination. "Out in that country," he says, "there was a real sense of the spirits who walked the land in the centuries before. And being so cut off from other kids, I roamed the hills a lot, following hawks and eagles, climbing boulders, sitting in Indian caves. Rattlesnakes never bothered us much. But I felt the spirits everywhere. I think my mom, who was part Blackfoot Indian, had a lot to do with that."
When John was only four, however, his mother died of breast cancer, leaving his father to raise four small children on his own. John still recalls his mother and her songs. "One thing I remember about my mom is that she sang to us constantly, making up a song for each of her four children that fit our personalities perfectly. So from her, I got a sense of how to capture a
person's spirit in a lyrical phrase."
Over time, his musical interests continued to grow and in high school, the social commentary of folksinger Bob Dylan inspired him to write his own songs, hoping to pursue a musical career. He was, however, a “wild student,” he admits to English professor Chris Crowe in an interview for The ALAN Review, and was torn between his love of baseball and writing, calling himself both “a high achiever and a rabble rouser,” noting, for example, that in 1969 he was voted Senior Class President and the Senior Class Clown. Teachers did, however, recognize his writing talent, although his work was so often read out loud in class that he also admits to growing complacent and somewhat lazy about having to improve his skills.
At the University of California, San Diego, John studied communications while playing for the UCSD baseball team, all-the-while continuing to write Dylan-style songs. But by his sophomore year, he recalls, “I was anxious to get on with my life. And for the vision I had in mind, college didn’t have much to offer me. I knew I had to walk the streets, touch life, embrace life, gain experience.” So like his literary heroes before him, i.e., Dylan, Jack Kerouac, and Mark Twain, John quit school, taking a job as a painter’s apprentice, and set about traveling the country. He learned to live so cheaply that he could earn enough in three or four months to allow him to travel and write for the rest of the year. He did that for several years, until he married his wife, Cheryl, whom he had met in college, and they had a baby daughter. With a family to support, John needed to work nine months a year, painting houses, but the rest of his time went into writing, an artistic lifestyle he later spotlighted in his song-laden socio-political novel, Under the Baseball Moon.
In 1994, after publishing several short stories, John received the Judy Blume Award and a cash grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for a novel in progress. In 1996, he submitted his manuscript through the Curtis Brown Agency to Philomel Books where it became the first acquisition of junior editor, Michael Green. Since then, Green has risen to become Editorial Director and Publisher of Philomel Books and has edited all six of John’s novels.
In 1999, John’s first novel, Choosing Up Sides, won the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award for Older Readers and was designated an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. This hard-hitting work of ... [To see more of this bio, go to John's website or his Wikipedia entry.]
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