High and Inside.


172 pages
ISBN 978-1-55143-532-2
DDC jC813'.6





Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings is a public-school teacher and librarian in Ajax,


With a highly successful basketball season just behind him, grade 7 student Matt Hill (introduced in the earlier book in the South Side Sports series, In the Paint) is looking forward to playing baseball for his middle school team, the South Side Stingers. But when he starts backing away from pitches, he finds himself relegated to the bench, keeping score. To make matters worse, when Matt’s oldest and best friend, Jake, gets mixed up with the wrong crowd, it is Matt who is accused of using drugs. Refusing to tattle on his friend, Matt is forced to attend drug and alcohol counseling session for the entire summer.


Eventually, however, all is resolved. With the help of the team coach, Stephens, and manager, Charlie, who, though handicapped, knows just what to do, Matt develops into a successful hitter. Jake, a good kid at heart, confesses to owning the marijuana that caused all the trouble, effectively letting Matt off the hook. Matt’s budding romance with another young athlete, Andrea, seems off to a good start as they attend the Spring Fling together. And even though the Stingers didn’t make the playoffs, it was still a great season.


Boys, especially those who love sports, will be able to relate to Matt, and find his story highly appealing. High and Inside, with its themes of friendship and loyalty, overcoming weaknesses and handicaps, making choices, and learning from one’s mistakes, is sure to be a hit with readers in junior and intermediate grades. Highly recommended.


Rud, Jeff., “High and Inside.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/27838.