by Julianna Baggot
First sentence: “The boy who would break the Curse didn’t know that he was the boy who would break the Curse.”
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Twelve-year-old Oscar Egg feels like he doesn’t fit in anywhere. A mixed-race child, adopted by white parents. He’s the child of divorce, and his father’s a bit on the run-down side. He doesn’t really fit in at school, and even though he’s a die-hard Red Sox fan, he even feels let down by them.
And so when his mother leaves him on the eve of his birthday with his father, he isn’t really surprised.
What surprises him, though, is his father’s world. His dad lives under Fenway Park, along with the other Cursed Creatures. See, the Curse on the Red Sox that prevented them from winning a World Series in 86 years? It’s a real, palpable thing, put on them by an Irish fairy (for reasons I never could quite figure out, but had something to do with selling Babe Ruth in 1919). And it turns out that the only person who can break the curse is Oscar.
There’s some of the Cursed Creatures who don’t want Oscar to succeed, though. And so it’ll take a lot of perseverance, a talent for cracking codes, and some help from some very unusual people to succeed.
This book is impossibly clever. From the moment I realized what Baggott had done — taken a major recent historical event and turned it into a work of fantasy — I was hooked. The fact that Baggott wrote an incredibly engaging story, and threw in a subplot about racism and acceptance only sweetened the deal. Add the fact that it’s a well-written baseball book (and even though I’m not a huge fan, I don’t know how you can grow up in this country and not like it at least a little bit), with facts about the past (from both the Major Leagues and the Negro League) and the spirit of the game; throw in the fact that it’s summertime, and you’ve got a complete winner.
4 thoughts on “The Prince of Fenway Park”
Coming from Boston, I can truly say this is a unique take on the curse. Sounds like a good one. Thanks for the recommendation.
I'm glad you liked it so much! I had a hard time with the fantasy elements – they just didn't work very well for me.
I loved the Prince of Fenway Park.
I'm glad you like it–this was one one of the books we picked for the Cybils shortlist!