Friday, July 15, 2016

Frank Nappi - Welcome to the Show - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

It’s 1950 and Mickey Tussler—the now-famous pitching prodigy with autism and a golden arm—is back for another baseball season in this third installment of Frank Nappi’s critically acclaimed Legend of Mickey Tussler series. Talk of Mickey’s legendary exploits on the field has grown since his improbable debut two years prior, as have the fortunes of Murph and the rest of the lovable ragtag Brew Crew. Now Mickey, Murph, and Lester find themselves heading to Bean Town to play for the Boston Braves.

The call up is sweet, for all of them have overcome insurmountable odds to get where they are. But life in the major leagues is filled with fast-paced action both on and off the field. The bright lights of Boston hold a new series of challenges, hardships, and life lessons—especially for Mickey, who finds himself a long way from throwing apples into a barrel back on the farm. The three newest Braves have each other to lean on, as well as a new group of fans who are swept away by pennant fever, but balancing everything this new world has to offer may prove to be the greatest challenge of all.

My Review

Could an autistic pitcher really get Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio out?

As a baseball fan, it's fun to think about. Back in 1950, when Frank Nappi's tale takes place, not many people knew what autism was. Which means, this story isn't too far-fetched. There very well could've been players in baseball with autism at the time. They, themselves, just didn't know they had it, and neither did the fans watching them.

Instead, Mickey Tussler ends up being one of those guys who's automatically labeled a "retard," a "nitwit" or a "bonehead." He doesn't talk much, and when he does it's only to share his encyclopedic knowledge on some random topic. He also has a bad habit of referring to himself in the third person, and when someone speaks to him, he has a tendency to take everything literally, to the point most of his teammates just laugh at him and walk away.

His social skills are very weak, but not through any fault of his own. It's just the way his brain is wired. So it's not hard to see why this farm boy from Indiana prefers the company of animals to that of people. They don't judge him. They're not unkind to him. They don't bully him.

Yet despite all the challenges he's facing, Mickey has a lot to offer. When he's able to tune out the sensory overload and simply focus on the ball in his hand, he can really pitch, the pop in his fastball unlike anything anyone's ever seen. But his outings are irregular. Sometimes he can tune out the verbal insults of his father he hears running through in his head, and sometimes he can't.

Like any autistic person, sticking to a routine helps. He has a strict regimen he follows, putting on his uniform. When he takes the mound, he smoothes the dirt out just right before starting his warm-up tosses. That sense of familiarity settles him.

But it's the support of his manager that allows him to succeed. Mickey's special. He needs someone to watch out for him so that he can thrive in an environment that's mentally taxing even for a non-autistic player. All it takes is a little patience, a little tolerance and it's not long before Mickey's well on his way to becoming the Rookie of the Year, while giving his team a legitimate chance of making it to the World Series.

It's a great, feel good story about overcoming obstacles, and educating people on how to treat those who may be different from them. It's a book that makes one stop and think, while at the same time tugging at the heartstrings in a tender, yet powerful, way.

Hands down, this is one of the best books I've read all year.


Welcome to the Show can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $9.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
Genre: Sports, YA, Special Needs
Pages: 288
Release: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony
ISBN: 9781634508292
Click to add to your Goodreads list.




About the Author

Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty five years. His debut novel, ECHOES FROM THE INFANTRY, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Nappi continues to produce quality work, including SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the thriller, NOBODY HAS TO KNOW, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. The third installment of Nappi's Mickey Tussler series, WELCOME TO THE SHOW, was released April 2016, and he is currently working on his next thriller, AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE. Nappi lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.

Links to connect with Frank:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. Oh I am so excited to read this. I love that he has autism, like my nephew. Shows how they can overcome so many things. Sounds like an amazing book of inspiration!