Cover image for The youngest hero
The youngest hero
Jenkins, Jerry B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Warner Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
376 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in a completely different version as Rookie, c1991"--T.p. verso.
Format :


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The "New York Times" bestselling author of the Left Behind series hits a home run with this tale of a teenage phenom whose talents carries him all the way to the major leagues.

Author Notes

Jerry B. Jenkins was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on September 23, 1949. He is the author of more than 175 books including the Left Behind series, Riven, Matthew's Story, The Last Operative, and The Brotherhood. He is also the former editor of Moody Magazine, and his writing has appeared in Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. He wrote the nationally syndicated sports story comic strip, Gil Thorp, from 1996-2004.

He owns Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company in Los Angeles, which produced the critically-acclaimed movie Hometown Legend, based on his book of the same name. He also owns the Christian Writers Guild, which trains professional Christian writers. As a marriage and family author and speaker, he has been a frequent guest on Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Jenkins follows his mainstream football story, Hometown Legend (2001), with a rewrite of his 1991 novel, The Rookie. It's the tale of a young baseball phenom, Elgin Woodell, who climbs out of poverty--bringing his saintly mother along with him--to become the greatest baseball player of all time. He redeems the failure of his alcoholic father, a baseball player who could have been great. Jenkins was a sportswriter before securing fame with the Left Behind series, and The Rookie is authentic and touching, not least because of its evocation of the perennially hapless Cubs. The Youngest Hero, however, is a rather mechanical rewrite of a novel that didn't require tinkering. Jenkins adds little to the story, and huge chunks of his narrative are the same. But he shifts his point of view from third person to first and expands the role of Elgin's mom until she becomes an archetypal, never-wavering, Christian tower of strength. The new novel seems like a publisher's trick, a quick way to capitalize on Jenkins' new fame, but the changes are extensive enough to warrant purchase. And because a mainstream film has now been released of Hometown Legend, it may be reasonable to expect a film out of this one as well. Trick or no trick, The Youngest Hero will be requested. John Mort.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jenkins's goal in high school was to be a professional baseball player, so it's not surprising that the coauthor of the popular Left Behind series and numerous "as told to" baseball autobiographies would pen this light yarn of a young prodigy who makes it to the major leagues. Elgin Woodell comes by his talent honestly: his daddy, Neal, was once a major league prospect. But with Neal in the Alabama State Penitentiary, Elgin's mother, Miriam, is left to raise their 10-year-old son on her own, moving from Hattiesburg, Miss., to Chicago to escape the stigma of her divorce and her husband's bad reputation. Elgin hones his talent on the streets playing fast pitch and trying to fit into local leagues that are correct for his age group but not his talent. Success, however, is just around the corner. Fans of the Left Behind series will recognize Jenkins's trademark touches of humor, as well as his predisposition to be long on dialogue and short on characterization. There's a nice romance between Miriam and Lucas Harkness, the owner of Lucky's Secondhand Shop. Although Elgin's raw talent is believable for this type of tale, his precocious wisdom is unlikely. Like Hometown Legend, much of the book reads like it was made for the screen (and with Jenkins's new entertainment company transforming several of his novels to film, perhaps it was). Baseball fans will gladly stick with the story until the final inning, when 14-year-old Elgin steps up to the plate and achieves his dreams. (Apr. 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved