by Linda Bulger
The story unfolds in Boston in 2086, as Morris takes his eight-year-old grandson, Billy, to the fabled Fenway Park. The technological wonders of the age are showcased: transport by electro-gravity, holography, cars that drive themselves, a wireless world. But the real business of the story begins when Morris and Billy arrive at Fenway Park and Morris tells the story of Abraham Noble, a nobody from the minor leagues who suddenly becomes the greatest hitter in the game.
ASTERISK is structured as a story within a story; Morris spins the tale of the Red Sox in September 2052. The Sox went into a division playoff game against the Yankees with thin talent, and were trailing in the ninth inning when Noble -- the worst hitter in the league -- hit a three-run homer to tie the game. His prowess continued to grow through the post-season until ...
But no, if you want to know how the World Series played out in 2052, toss ASTERISK into your Amazon cart and read it for yourself. If you enjoy baseball, you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat reading the play-by-plays. You could be sitting behind the dugout with Morris and Billy, giving only passing attention to the game on the field and the GoogleGram holographic replays. The story of Abraham Noble's astounding at-bats and the eventual scandal that threatened to bring an end to baseball will claim your full attention.
Not so much into baseball? There's still plenty of excitement here for you as Abe's secret unfolds. You may TRY to guess the nature of Abe's "edge," but the elusive science behind it will probably take you by surprise. The science is woven so seamlessly into the baseball story that you may find yourself thinking of ways YOU could use this dark technology, if it were available to you now.
I particularly liked the way Maine writer Mark LaFlamme wove in the symbolism of the asterisk; you'll see that an item of that shape plays a key part in the story, bringing to mind the asterisk that marks dubious results in the record books.
As you read this absorbing little story you may think for a moment or two that even baseball can't hold itself above the temptation of technology. But in the end the game survives, the commitment is renewed, and the tale of Abraham Noble's dark science is a fascinating footnote in the history of the national pastime. A most enjoyable read!
by Ali Jenkins
Asterisk Red Sox 2086 by Mark LaFlamme has produced an easy to read book, which will appeal to younger children. His book should be a heavy favorite among those that like baseball or science fiction. His book is a great combination of those two. A reader doesn’t need to know the aspects of either of these to enjoy it. LaFlamme’s book appears to be heavily inspired by The Jetsons cartoon with the flying cars as transportation as well as other technology. He also seems to be heavily inspired by the losing ways of The Boston Red Sox in the World Series. This book was obviously started before The Boston Red Sox actually won the World Series.
Asterisk explores the possibilities of the world of baseball as well as the world itself in the year 2086. It is explored through technology and scientific developments that don’t seem so far fetched that it is merely fantasy. The world seems to be owned by mostly Google such as their wireless network known as GoogleZon as well as the Google Sound, the former public announcement system at Fenway Park.
This story explores the great bond that can happen between grandfather and grandson which revolves around baseball. While at a baseball game, the grandfather tells a great story of how an athlete, Abe Noble, of The Boston Red Sox, was a hero and a disgrace to the ballgame. Asterisk is much more than just this story, but this is the main focus. This is how a an item resembling an asterisk along with another element could possibly change the game of baseball, maybe permanently, among other things. There has always been talk of some sort of scandal in baseball, and this book, seeks a different version of cheating. Asterisk Red Sox 2086 also explores a form of cheating in baseball and why someone might do it.
As a former Children’s Librarian I would definitely recommend this book to those that enjoy baseball, even those that are reluctant readers.