Year Published: 1998
Written by: Gavin Curtis
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
“Is — Reginald — at — it — again?” Papa shouts between notes.
“Hush up,” Mama says, “I just love this one.”
Papa sometimes comes home in a bad mood because he’s the manager of the Dukes — the worst team in the Negro National League.
Reginald loves his violin. His constant practice pays off in floods of beautiful music. But Papa could care less about Reginald’s “fiddling.” He’s more concerned about the Dukes’s losing streak, and he needs his son for something other than playing music. When Papa makes Reginald the Dukes’s batboy, Reginald worries that his practice time will suffer, and that he won’t be ready for his recital. He takes on every free moment he can find to play, and ends up filling the dugout with Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Soon the Dukes begin to shake their bad luck. But there’s still that big game against the Monarchs, and there’s still Papa’s heart that needs winning over.
In this beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit, Gavin Curtis captures a very special period in history. Award-winning artist E.B. Lewis brings the warmth of this powerful story to life with his lush watercolor paintings.
School Library Journal
“Lewis’s soft illustrations portray the characters with depth and beauty, resulting in a very special book.”
Nominated for Georgia’s 1999-2000 Picture Storybook Award (K-3)
Included in the Best of the Best for 1998, Chicago Public Library
1998 Cuyhoga County (Ohio) Public Library’s annual list, Children’s Books to Read and Own
CORETTA SCOTT KING AWARD WINNER