Cover image for Strike two
Strike two
Koss, Amy Goldman, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2001.
Physical Description:
134 pages ; 22 cm
Haley's hope of spending the summer playing softball and hanging out with her cousin Gwen is ruined when her father and her uncle land on opposite sides of the local newspaper strike.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.2 4.0 54102.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



To Gwen summer means playing softball, spending every day with her best friend/cousin, Jess, and watching Fourth of July fireworks from the top floor of the Press Gazette building where her dad and his twin brother, Uncle Dave, both work. This summer sure isn't going as planned, though. The newspaper is on strike, and everybody in town seems to be taking a side. It's union versus management even within Gwen's softball team - and within her own family too. Uncle Dave is management; Dad is union. And once the battle lines have been drawn, they're almost impossible to erase. But Gwen insists on trying. After all, everything depends on it. Gwen's story is spiced with the fun of softball and sweetened by an endearing cast of characters, including Abe, the irresistible show-off, and Vicky, Gwen's ever-joking new friend. As she did in The Girls and The Ashwater Experiment, Amy Goldman Koss again brings sparkle, humour, and fresh insight to this lively exploration of loyalties and friendship tested.

Author Notes

Amy Goldman Koss is a children's writer who attended Lansing Community College and Wayne State University but did not finish her degree. As an adult, she lived in several places such as - Lansing, Boston, Stuart, Florida - working odd jobs and taking random college classes. She soon started submitting her drawings and writings to newspapers and literary magazines. When her first picture book got published, she was totally hooked and spent the next few years writing and illustrating picture books in verse. After having her children she started writing novels and has been doing it ever since. Her titles include Gossip Times Three, How I Saved Hanukkah, and Smoke Screen.

She belongs to several writing societies such as Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Children's Author's Network and Friend's of Children and Literature Authors Guild.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Gwen and Jess are cousins, best friends, and enthusiastic ballplayers. Their fathers, who are twins, work for the local newspaper, the company that sponsors the girls' baseball team. When the newspaper's labor force goes on strike, kinship, friendship, and team spirit all take a beating. Told in Gwen's straightforward preadolescent voice, the story unfolds across the tense weeks of the strike, as the baseball team becomes a battleground for the adults. Jess and Gwen distrust each other, and Gwen learns how difficult it can be to form friendships when they don't come readymade from family ties. But Gwen is certain of one thing: she won't let the strike ruin a good baseball summer, and organizes a coed game that crosses management and family lines. The denouement is perhaps a bit pat, but Gwen is a wonderfully spunky kid who has real problems, creative solutions, and the guts to admit that she has a lot to learn about others' needs. --Francisca Goldsmith

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Gwen can't be more excited as a summer of softball stretches ahead of her. She and her best friend/cousin, Jess, play for the Press Gazette, the city's newspaper, which employs both of their fathers. The girls have been "practicing forever," and building a championship team this season is well within their sights. What isn't anticipated is the strike that divides their families: Gwen's dad is "labor" and his brother is "management." At first, Gwen enjoys having her father home, available to shuttle her to practice and the movies, and she even accompanies him on the high-spirited picket line. He assures her that the dispute won't last long: "By tomorrow they'll be on their knees, begging us to come back." The mood darkens and tension builds, however, as the strike continues, ultimately disrupting relationships and, of course, the softball season. Characterization is strong, revealed through Gwen's first-person narrative and solid dialogue. In a believable plot, the young people finally are able to begin the healing process in the community-with a little help from their irascible grandmother. Koss has created realistic characters that young people will both recognize and relate to. They will also recognize the influence that the larger adult world has, and understand that they are not powerless.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.