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Fenway Fever  |  The Desperado Who Stole Baseball  |  The Boy Who Saved Baseball  |  Under the Baseball Moon  |  Choosing Up Sides  |  Over the Wall

Fenway Fever bookcover

Fenway Fever

Fenway Fever

What if someone somehow did something that re-ignited the ancient Curse of the Bambino during the cosmic year of 2012? What if the only ones who can connect the dots to this mystery are an eccentric Red Sox pitcher known as "Spacebird" and a tiny boy genius who is his biggest fan?

In Fenway Fever, ace Red Sox pitcher Billee Orbitt partners up with young ciphering sidekick, Freddy “Stats” Pagano, whose family runs a beloved hotdog stand, on a special mission to get to the bottom of a mysterious bad luck streak. Even though the Red Sox broke the dreaded 86-year-old curse by winning the 2004 World Series, they just suffered the worst decline in baseball history during September of 2011. Can a goofball lefty and a Lilliputian boy with a nervous disorder restore balance once again to Boston Town?


A Junior Library Guild Selection for 2012!

"A funny, exciting, original, and heart-warming novel that even readers who aren't Red Sox fans will love."
—Peter Abrahams, lifelong Red Sox fan and New York Times bestselling author

The Desperado Who Stole Baseball

Go to the Desperado page for more.

The Desperado Who Stole Baseball is Book One of the Cruz de la Cruz trilogy and the prequel to The Boy Who Saved Baseball. Among other things, it answers the question:

What if legendary gunfighter Billy the Kid had been a baseball player instead—hiding out in Dillontown?

The fate of a Wild West gold-mining town rests in their hands. One is a twelve-year-old boy with a love and instinct for baseball unmatched by any grown-up. The other is the country's most infamous outlaw, on the run and looking for peace of mind. Together, they pair up to prove that heroes can emerge from anywhere. Told in the style of Mark Twain and Gabriel García Márquez.

"The Desperado Who Stole Baseball has it all—rich baseball lore, a rollicking Western adventure, and storytelling gold.
A terrific book."
—Mike Lupica, author of Heat and The Big Field
"Fans of baseball will chortle all the way through every impossible moment."
Kirkus Reviews
An American Library Association JLG selection for 2009.

The Boy Who Saved Baseball pb bookcover

Go to the
Boy Who Saved Baseball page for more.

The Boy Who Saved Baseball is the second book in the Cruz de la Cruz Trilogy and a literary tribute to Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, and Gabriel García Márquez.

What if one day a boy discovers the secret of hitting a baseball—every time?

Desperately trying to save their legendary ballpark, Tom, the thinker, Cruz, the mysterious cyber-vato, and the brash all-star, Maria, spur the rest of the Dillontown Nine to face the challenge of a lifetime. What's at stake? Only the very future of the town, the team, and the holy game of baseball.

A rollicking and high-spirited story about a shy boy's quest to preserve his slice of the American landscape. The Boy Who Saved Baseball will make you believe in the power of your dreams.

Winner of the 2004 Paterson Prize for Children's Literature
" times stunning...a book filled with memorable moments."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

"Ritter dishes up another stellar read...."
Starred Review, Booklist
"The Boy Who Saved my favorite new book of the year."
Sue Corbett, Miami Herald
Under the Baseball Moon bookcover

Go to the Baseball Moon page for more.

Under the Baseball Moon

What if music could perfect a pitcher's timing? Or help a batter hit the perfect pitch?

Skateboarder Andy Ramos, a brilliant trumpet player, forms his own band with two talented and crazy friends. But when Glory Martinez returns to this eccentric California beach town, things go from crazy to ominous. Once a great embarrassment to Andy, Glory has now matured into a cool and dynamic softball pitcher, who, for some reason, needs Andy's trumpet riffs at her games to pitch effectively, while her presence at his gigs turns him into the greatest trumpeter on earth. Enter Max Lucero, a mysterious figure who says he can guarantee Andy will become the next American Idol—if he can only leave Glory behind.

"Ritter has crafted a work that is far beyond the ordinary. Even the language is multi-layered. [A] truly remarkable work."
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
"Sparkling...mysterious...ominous...superbly catches the weird uniqueness of Ocean Beach, California."
Starred Review, School Library Journal

"Ritter pulls out all the stops in developing his myth-heavy plot...telling his story in a hip, street-smart argot. Teen friendly, lots of fun."
Starred Review, Booklist
Choosing Up Sides bookcover

Go to the Choosing Up Sides page for more.

Choosing Up Sides

What if a natural lefty was forced by religion to be right-handed? Where could he go to be himself?

"I grew up with my left hand tied behind my back..."

So begins the tale of Luke Bledsoe, the 13-year-old son of a preacher, whose family believes that the left hand is "the hand of the Devil." Harkening back to the days when lefties were customarily "switched" to become "normal," i.e., right-handed—and echoing the time when left-handers were burned at the stake as witches—Choosing Up Sides is the harrowing, but inspirational, story of one boy's quest to find himself.

"Winner of the 1999 International Reading Association's "Children's Book Award."
"No ordinary baseball book, this is a rare first novel."
—Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
"A dramatic and inspirational story."
The Los Angeles Times

"Like the best...sports novels of Robert Lipsyte, Chris Crutcher, or Walter Dean Myers, this novel goes well beyond the issues involved in a game... Authentic...suspenseful...excellent..."
Dr. Marjorie M. Kaiser, The ALAN Review
Over the Wall bookcover

Go to the
Over the Wall page for more.

Over the Wall

What if an all-star shortstop's future depended upon building a Vietnam War Memorialto the other side?

Over the Wall is the modern day story of an angry, self-centered California boy who comes to New York City hoping to make a big name for himself in the baseball world. He does, but not without a fight. Several fights, in fact, until he does something that touches the lives of millions of people, including his coach and his father, who were both deeply affected by the Vietnam War.

"John H. Ritter tackles tough subjects relating to violence in sports, religious hypocrisy and the Vietnam War...A powerful lesson in compassion."
Publishers Weekly
"Suspenseful...outstanding...There is so much here to recommend...This is a profound book, unusual for YA fiction."
Claire Rosser, Editor of KLIATT

"John H. Ritter has written another fantastic novel! Everywhere I go, I rave about his books...."
Beverly Chin, Univ. of Montana, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English

Home | Blog | Books | Bio | Interviews | Music | Essays | FAQ | Appearances | Contact
Fenway Fever | The Desperado Who Stole Baseball | The Boy Who Saved Baseball | Under the Baseball Moon | Choosing Up Sides | Over the Wall