All through eighth-grade baseball season Peter Friedman hid his mounting, searing pain so that he and his best friend, AJ, could be star pitchers. After finally wearing out his elbow joint and permanently ending his baseball career, Peter enters his freshman year by keeping this crushing news a secret from AJ and wondering if he’ll ever enjoy anything as much as baseball again.

Because of his close relationship with his grandfather, a professional photographer, and his mother’s persistent urging, he signs up for one of his high school’s photography classes, where he meets fellow budding photographer Angelika. When the class becomes the yearbook’s default photographers, Angelika volunteers Peter to cover none other than the school’s sports scene.

Peter’s biting humor and flirtatious banter with Angelika keep the story both realistic and fresh as he faces his debilitating injury and AJ’s constant reminders about the upcoming spring training, along with one more secret: After noticing his grandfather’s increasing forgetfulness, he can’t help but wonder if his beloved hero is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. He swears not to divulge his grandfather’s condition, until a life-threatening accident forces him to confront the truth.

As Peter learns how to be honest with his friends, family and, most importantly, himself, he also begins to appreciate life’s gifts amidst tragedy. Jordan Sonnenblick scores a home run with Curveball as he continues what he does best: getting to the core of issues that resonate with teens in a style that’s direct and witty. New readers, start lining up Sonnenblick’s previous hits!

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