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    Life is looking up for Xavier. Things are good with Jennie, his baseball coach believes in him, he's earned the role of closer, and his dad's coming home after serving 10 years. 

    But making up for lost time with his dad doesn't go as Xavier had hoped. It seems his dad's always angry with him. Or drinking. Or out. Or lecturing Xavier on what it means to be a man. When the tension at home builds, Xavier's own hot temper flares, threatening to send him down the same path as his father. 

    Xavier is determined to make a different life. Can he figure out how to control his actions to keep his baseball dreams alive?

    ©2015 Patrick Jones (P)2018 Lerner Digital™


    "Xavier has waited 10 years to get his dad back, but the demanding, chronically drunk man who comes home from prison is not the father figure he imagined. The teen struggles with anger over his father's long absence and criminal past, as well as the fear that he will end up following in his dad's footsteps. Issues such as gang violence, teen pregnancy, and drug dealing add to Xavier's troubles. When his hot temper gets him thrown off the baseball team - the only thing he is passionate about - and into juvenile detention, his fears only grow. Part of a new series, this high/low offering explores the challenges facing children with incarcerated parents, and the gritty, realistic story should appeal to older readers in need of simpler writing that can keep them engaged through short chapters and relevant content. While written to illustrate that a cycle of criminal behavior can be broken, the book actually functions more as a cautionary tale than one of hope." (Booklist)

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