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WWII Veterans Take On Youth Baseball Team In New Comic Novel

“A Day for Heroes”, based on the life of its author with a bit of poetic license, tells the story of a boy, Ray, who grows up in the 1950s and transforms from a holy terror as a child to a gamer. Incredible baseball, and most importantly, it is a story of parents and children coming together to play a game of baseball like no other. These parents, most of them World War II veterans, believed that the children, who had never lost a game, had it easy because of them, and now was the time to teach them a lesson.

The first chapters of the novel detail Ray’s comical misadventures growing up and the rivalry that developed between him and his father as a result of the problems he constantly caused. Ray always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading to his paranoia, perhaps justified, that his parents, grandparents, and teachers were all out to get him. But after all, he set the house on fire, burned his grandfather’s piano, smashed the seats in the new car, created abstract art with a kindergarten classmate, and had to make a deal with the school principal to maintain the open mouth. locked in the choir, his singing was so bad. Ray’s grandfather threatens revenge on him for destroying the piano, but it is Ray’s father who carries it out in a way that will keep the reader laughing, of course.

Then Ray’s life suddenly changes when he reaches fifth grade and meets Mrs. Harrison, a gym teacher so old she must have been teaching since Old Testament times. Perhaps her old age has made Ms. Harrison wise because she is the first person to see Ray’s potential. She makes him a teacher’s aide and, over time, they form a baseball team outside of class. Before long, Ray is part of an unstoppable youth baseball team, and when he and his teammates turn sixteen, they are playing in the Detroit baseball league against men’s teams. The other teams find them laughable and nobody wants to play them at first, but the laugh doesn’t last long.

By the time they graduate from high school, Ray’s team has never lost a game. But then their parents approach them for one last game on a Sunday afternoon in 1965. Ray and his teammates are surprised but up for the challenge. After all, your parents are all on the wrong side of their forties. But they have underestimated these men, most of whom are WWII veterans and play baseball as if they were going to win another war.

The title of the book, “A Day for Heroes”, refers to that great game between parents and children: the veterans of World War II and the next generation. The final showdown is fun, heartwarming, will get readers cheering for you, and has the same feel-good effect as a fantastic movie. Every page of the book is filled with laughter, but underneath that laughter is a deep respect for the veterans who saved the world.

Danescu makes sure that all characters on both teams are fully realized. For example, Deacon, the aptly named second baseman on Ray’s team, is described with “a slow and steady pace, almost biblical in nature, while surrounded by an aura of poise and poise. He had the self-assurance of a spiritualist. When he showed up at the game, it was like he was walking into a revival tent to fulfill his hopes and dreams. ” And then there’s Jack, whose parents are German immigrants. Jack grows and becomes so big that his muscles bulge everywhere until his teammates are convinced that he is the result of a secret laboratory experiment in Germany during the war. Jack is such an incredible ballplayer that “the other team walked off the field, demanding to see a birth certificate and other identification that proved Jack was human. Jack never spoke during these investigations; we had another player represent him. We knew his accent. it would ignite charges on test tubes, German laboratories and artificial organs. “

As for the WWII fathers, here are descriptions of two of them:

“Mr. Grant brought home a noticeable limp from the war and was currently working as a foreman on an assembly line in Detroit. With every step he took, there were doubts. We didn’t think he could play baseball, but Mr. Grant showed up to play. because I didn’t know what limitations we were talking about. “

“For almost two years, he had faced death every night on patrols around Japanese-controlled islands. So Mr. Danson came home with nerves of steel and eyes so cold and sharp that he could cut a turkey with them … it’s scary to have someone with that background. And if he said we still had things to learn, who would argue with him? “

Danescu, despite some jokes, is reverent towards these men, asking in the prelude chapter before the big game:

“Where do you find heroes? You find them within unsuspecting innocent people who find themselves in dangerous or desperate situations. They react in ways that show how identity and self-importance become secondary to another cause or purpose. Their acts of courage and bravery can be spontaneous or last for years. “

For me, to describe the great game between these parents and children would be to take all the fun out of the reader, and my descriptions could not do justice to the humor of the book, the comic incidents, and the general toughness of these players. “A Day for Heroes” is a triumph in many ways, from nostalgia to heroism and from humor to deep emotion. Ryan Danescu can write a heartbreaking paragraph and end it with a line of comic relief as few authors can. After setting houses on fire, destroying car interiors, and becoming a great baseball player, you may have finally found your calling by writing this poignant tale of two generations at war on the baseball field. This book is meant to be a home run.

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