Choosing Up Sides

Front Cover
Puffin Books, 2000 - Juvenile Fiction - 166 pages
1 Review
To Luke's father, baseball is "the devil's game" -- but to Luke, it's salvation.

Preacher's boy Luke Bledsoe is a left-hander in a right-handed world. Moved from town to town, he's spent his whole life feeling like an outsider. Until by chance he steps on a baseball field and discovers he can pitch. Really pitch. There's only one problem: his father. Reverend Bledsoe believes that the left side is the side of Satan and the baseball field is the Devil's playground. Luke has spent his whole life trying to please his father. Will he choose to give up the game he's come to love -- or turn his back on his family?

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User Review  - Lukesilvera - LibraryThing

Has an interesting touch of religion but focuses on the internal struggle of the main character. Great for those students that like baseball. Also a grate time period book. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Writing in a vivid, suspenseful style, Ritter debuts with the story of a boy coming into his own as "a thinking man." In 1921, when some religious folk believe that the left side of a person is the ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

John H. Ritter (b. October 31, 1951, San Pedro, California) is an American novelist, short story writer, teacher, and lecturer. His first novel, Choosing Up Sides, published in 1998, won the 1999 International Reading Association Children's Book Award for Older Readers and was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.

Ritter's novels have tackled subjects as diverse as the Vietnam War, the war in Iraq, issues of land development, jazz fusion, and Billy the Kid; and often showcase the sport of baseball. According to Vicki Sherbert, writing in The ALAN Review for the National Council of Teachers of English, Ritter "uses the game of baseball, the glory of music, and the power of the written word to illustrate how young people can overcome everyday, and not-so-everyday, challenges. Each book goes beyond the story of the game, beyond the story of the problem, right to the heart of Ritter's message: What is really valuable in life?"

John Ritter lives in San Pedro, California. Learn more about him at