Lost Boy
by Green, Tim

While a friend tries to raise funds for an operation Ryder's mother needs after a car accident, Ryder, accompanied by a disabled neighbor, travels from Yankee Stadium to Turner Field seeking the baseball player who might be his father.

In a tale that is tense and scary right up until its improbably happy ending, 12-year-old Ryder is suddenly left on his own when his mother lands in the ICU. Circumstances dictate he must contact the father he has never known. Fortunately, he gets both immediate and longer-term help from a compassionate New York City firefighter and an embittered ex-reporter immobilized with a degenerative disease. Unfortunately, his dad turns out to be a major league pitcher-with a wife and family. After his mom is given only days to live unless she has a very expensive operation, the pressure is on to find a way to come face-to-face with the man and then convince him to help. Green sends his painfully shy but courageous protagonist through realistically vicious emotional rapids as well as less realistic but suspenseful efforts to sneak into baseball clubhouses in both New York and Atlanta. Neither these ploys nor the eventual confrontation go well, but help comes just as all seems lost, and everyone's fortunes-even those of the reporter and the firefighter-turn bright. Ryder's fear and despair are sharply felt, and readers who prefer stories with uncomplicated resolutions will be pleased by the prolific Green's latest outing. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Life for Ryder and his mother isn't perfect, but they manage by facing the world together, until a freak accident leaves Ryder alone with a lot of problems.When his mother suffers a road accident, Ryder has to dodge the attention of social services while trying to find ways of raising money for the operation that could save her life. Add to this the stress of being caught by the police when a gang of kids tricks him into breaking into Yankee Stadium, and he starts to feel like his whole world is on the verge of collapse. Luckily he's got unlikely friends in the form of a guilt-ridden firefighter and a neighbor who suffers from fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a connective-tissue disorder that confines him to a wheelchair. But will that be enough to save his small family? Best-selling author Green has had much success with books that feature lonely boys with family issues who rely on innate talent to carve escape niches in sports. This one is written in the same vein, th ough the plot, complete with unlikely medical scenarios, is slightly less believable than his previous books. The strength of the cast—cranky ex-reporter, firefighting teddy bear, sympathetic visiting nurse—carries the book despite its weak plot. Those who appreciate consistency are the most likely to welcome Green's latest. (Fiction. 10-13) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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