A Season of Daring Greatly by Jill Cafferty
A Book Review by Josh Baker, West Orange Public Library Teen Book Reviewer
Baseball stands as one of the most culturally diverse sports in America. It includes players from countries all over the world, but ever since its creation, one aspect has never changed; not a single woman has played Major League Baseball. However, in Ellen Emerson White’s new novel A Season of Daring Greatly, Jill Cafferty becomes the first female drafted into the MLB. Cafferty’s journey strongly resembles (some might even say duplicates) that of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the baseball color barrier in 1947. If you enjoy stories about huge changes in society or standing up against the norm, then you may enjoy this book. You may also enjoy books about Jackie Robinson, particularly Jackie & Me by Dan Gutman. If you are looking for a book on baseball in general, check out novels by Mike Lupica and Tim Green (featuring Derek Jeter in his latest publication Baseball Genius).
Personally, I found this story pretty bland. Since I know the story of Jackie Robinson, and I’ve read plenty of other stories like it, I correctly predicted all the motions that Jill Cafferty was going to go through. She’s verbally assaulted, people tell her to quit, she’s harassed by teammates, etc. Her father is dead too, but White does manage to have it somewhat contribute to the plot. There are not many surprises in the story, but in all honesty, it would be pretty hard to put surprises in a story that has been done several times already. Although the book was well written with good intentions, I feel the story was a bit cliche.