Book Talk covers a comic novel for average readers and a historical look at the Cleveland Indians
What happens when the whole town leaves and doesn’t come back? It’s “It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit,” a comic novel for average readers by Justin A. Reynolds of Cleveland.
It takes place in Carterville, a lakeside suburb of Cleveland, and the highlight of the summer is the annual Beach Bash, a day-long music and fireworks festival. Eddie Holloway, 12, is all set for double cheeseburgers and spending time with his crush.
The flies in Eddie’s slushie are his infuriating brother and stepfather, Calvin. Eddie’s name for Calvin is Wanna-Be Dad, and he objects both to taking the place of Eddie’s late father and to his unrelenting enthusiasm. Eddie resents WBD’s attempts to be his friend.
Eddie has had a great summer so far because he made a deal with his mother: if he takes care of all her chores, he can be independent. Their versions of doing chores don’t add up. Mom expects him to do his laundry regularly, but it’s his most hated job, so he had a brilliant idea: he’ll wear all the clothes he owns once, no matter how small they are. uncomfortable or ill-fitting. Now all she has left is her bathing suit, perfect for the beach party, and a closet full of dirty laundry.
Eddie’s plan may not violate the bargain, but mom is a lawyer and she anchors Eddie until every piece of clothing is washed, dried, and folded. She and WBD are gone, and work is progressing when the electricity goes out in the house and, apparently, throughout the neighborhood.
With almost everyone gone, Eddie finds four friends to play a ninja zombie game and eat all the forbidden snacks before they slowly realize it’s dark and they’re still the only ones everywhere. It’s not as fun anymore.
The situation of children creates bonds and teamwork. Eddie has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, which contributes to his delightfully silly imagination and uninterrupted dialogue. Parents should know that the book ends in a cliffhanger and kids will want to buy the unannounced sequel.
“It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit” (304 pages, hardcover) costs $17.99 from Scholastic and is recommended for grades 3-7. Other Justin Reynolds books include the Spider-Man graphic novel “Miles Morales: Shock Waves.” He will launch his book during a conversation with writer and illustrator Terri Libenson (“The Pajama Diaries”) from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Dobama Theater, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights.
“Victory on two fronts”
Major League Baseball has made many adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic: shorter seasons, reduced stadium capacity, player contact tracing. Challenges affecting gameplay had been encountered before, and Scott Longert examines one in “Victory on Two Fronts: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball through the World War II Era”.
Brilliant Indian pitcher Bob Feller, barely out of his teens, enlisted in the Navy two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor; other players did the same. Teams compensated by calling more minor league players. More informed observers saw an opportunity for integration by adding players from the black leagues, but this did not happen until after the war.
Although Cleveland was far inland, provision had to be made for an enemy attack. An air raid test was carried out during a night game, with spectators given instructions on what to do when all the lights in the Municipal Stadium were off.
Benefit events began almost immediately. A portion of the proceeds from the 1942 World Series was donated to the USO and the Red Cross; a fund was created to send baseball equipment to the military. Two days after the 1942 All-Star Game in New York, the American League All-Stars, which included Indians player-coach Lou Boudreau, came to Cleveland to play a benefit game against former players from the Major League who had already enlisted – and the starting pitcher was Feller.
Longert tells his story up to the end of the war, when players who had been in service began to return to their teams, the addition of Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, and the triumphant championship of the 1948 World Series.
“Victory on Two Fronts” (296 pages, softcover) costs $24.95 from Ohio University Press. Scott Longert will speak about his book at a virtual event across the Euclid Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday. Register at euclidlibrary.org.
Cuyahoga County Public Library: Cincinnati author Jessica Strawser talks about “The Next Thing You Know,” about a musician who becomes a recluse when he learns he’s terminally ill, during a Zoom event from 7-8 p.m. Monday . From 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Marie Benedict discusses “Her Hidden Genius,” a historical novel about Rosalind Franklin, the scientist who went unrecognized for her work on the structure of DNA. Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Hudson Library and Historical Society: Author Harlan Coben discusses ‘The Match’, second in his Wilde series about a man who grew up wild in a forest and now returns to find a cousin, with Food Network personality Rachael Ray, author of ‘This Must Be the Place: Dispatches & Food from the Home Front,” in a Zoom event at 7 p.m. Monday, rescheduled from March. At 6 p.m. Tuesday, British novelist Abir Mukherjee talks about “The Shadows of Men,” the fifth in his detective series Wyndham & Banerjee set in 1920s India. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Neal Thompson discusses “The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty,” about Patrick and Bridget Kennedy, the great-grandparents of the 35th President Register at hudsonlibrary.org.
Canton Palace Theater (605 Market Ave. N.): Astronaut Nicole Stott joins the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books series, talking about “Back to Earth: What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet – and our mission to protect it”, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Register at starklibrary.org.
Wadsworth Public Library: Joe Lansdale, winner of 11 Bram Stoker Awards and a 2000 Edgar Award for “The Bottoms,” talks about his work, including the Hap and Leonard series (“Born for Trouble: The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard” is the latest) in a virtual event from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday. Register at wadsworthlibrary.com.
Loganberry books: Cleveland Heights author Paula McLain talks to Regina Brett about “When the Stars Go Dark” during a virtual event at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Go to loganberrybooks.com for the link.
union club (1211 Euclid Ave., Cleveland): Cleveland native and “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent David Pogue, author of “How to Prepare for Climate Change,” appears at a reception and program beginning at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday . Admission is $25. Get tickets at ccwa.org.
Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library: Novelist Emilie Richards discusses ‘The House Guests,’ about a widow trying to establish a relationship with her stepdaughter and find out more about her late husband, in a Facebook Live event from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday . Go to facebook.com/SMFPL.
Kent State University: Author and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (“A History of the Indigenous Peoples of the United States”) appears in a virtual event from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Powers Branch, 6996 Powers Blvd.): Community and union organizer Daisy Pitkin discusses “On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, And Two Women’s Epic Fight to Build a Union,” about a five-year battle to organize at an Arizona industrial laundry, 7-8 p.m. Wednesday.
B-side (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights): Former Ohio Poet Laureate John Burroughs and poets Victor Clevenger, John Dorsey, Nicole Hennessy and Russell Vidrick read their work from 6-8 p.m. Thursday. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Laura Walter signs the paperback release of “Body of Stars” and Kate Norris signs “When You and I Collide”.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Maple Valley Branch, 1187 Copley Road): As part of National Poetry Month, Jason Blakely reads “Collecting Ghosts: The Antique Future,” Saturday from 2-3 p.m.
Elyria Public Library (Central Branch, 211 Second St.): A non-fiction writers’ fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, including book talks and a panel on local history. See the program on elyrialibrary.org.