The Brooklyn Nine, deconstructed

>> Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I've been fortunate enough to have all four of my novels picked up by the by the Junior Library Guild, an organization that reads, chooses, recommends, and sells selected books to libraries around the country. JLG has a great track record of choosing books that go on to win further awards and accolades, and each selection of my books has heralded more good things to come.

The Junior Library Guild puts out a magazine in which they feature new selections as they become available, and the April/May issue has a nice page on The Brooklyn Nine, including a summary, review, and a few words from me about the book. The bottom of the page is dedicated to "curriculum indications," letting librarians know format, genre, main characters, settings, curriculum areas, and more. There's also a "Topics" heading, and reading the topics selected for The Brooklyn Nine--a story which stretches out over nine generations and more than 150 years--reads like some kind of weird Billy Joel "We Didn't Start the Fire" kind of thing!

Topics: Baseball. Baserunning. The garment industry. Immigrants. Rules. Fire. Firefighters. Fire breaks. Gunpowder. Injuries. Leather baseballs. The Civil War. Confederate Money. Battlefields. Baseball bats. Choosing teams. Mike "King Kelly (1857-1894). Vaudeville shows. Being drunk. Pawn shops. Racism. Anti-Semitism. Bullies. Names. Cyclone Joe Williams, a.k.a. Smokey Joe Williams (1886?-1946?). Fistfights. Tryouts. Gambling. Newspaper reporters. Floyd Caves "Babe" Herman (1903-1987). Fixing a bet. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Being a rookie. Winning. Teammates. World War II. Superstitions. V-E Day. Loss. Grief. Baseball cards. Flipping cards. Sputnik. Duck and Cover. Mutually Assured Destruction. Pitching. Little League teams. Coaches. Star Wars. Perfect games. Sentimental value. Spoiled children. Antique shops. Collectibles. Stamp collectors. Provenance. Fan sites. Negotiations.
Whew! I think the next time somebody asks me what The Brooklyn Nine is about, that's what I'll tell them.


David,  March 11, 2009 at 9:28 AM  

You've got a typo in your topics listing that looks bad for JLG. For Smokey Joe Williams the JLG Monthly has (1886?–1946?) not (1186?–1946?). He was old, but I'm sure nobody at JLG thinks he was that old. Thanks.

Alan March 11, 2009 at 10:30 AM  

Corrected! Thanks. The error was mine--I transcribed all that from the magazine page.

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