The debut book in the New York Times bestselling Contract series, The Contract is a middle grade baseball novel inspired by the youth of legendary sports icon and role model Derek Jeter.
As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot. And to help him stay focused on school, his parents make him a contract: keep up the grades or no baseball. Derek makes sure he always plays his best game—on and off the baseball field!
Derek Jeter has played Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees for twenty seasons and is a five-time World Series Champion. He is a true legend in professional sports and a role model for young people both on the field and through his Turn 2 Foundation.
Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, The Contract is the first book in Derek Jeter’s middle grade baseball series, an important part of the Jeter Publishing program, which will encompass adult nonfiction titles, children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, Ready-to-Read children’s books, and children’s nonfiction. For more about Jeter Publishing visit JeterPublishing.com.
Eight-year-old Derek Jeter has a lofty dream: to play shortstop for the New York Yankees. While his friends and even his teacher belittle his goal, Derek's parents' mantra is "you can do anything you want in life, if you work hard enough and stick with it." They put together a contract for Derek its rules include "Respect Others," "Respect Yourself," and "Work Hard" which is predictably tested when Derek is assigned to a Little League coach who favors his own son to the detriment of the team. There's a noble message in this series opener and first title from star shortstop Jeter's publishing imprint, but it's delivered too cleanly. Derek is a picture-perfect kid (with picture-perfect parents), a third grader who constantly takes the moral high road and reasons things like, "He knew his dad was only trying to teach him a valuable lesson." Knowing the (real-life) outcome of Jeter's story helps offset the book's lesson-in-disguise qualities, but it may be hard for readers to find common ground with a character who always makes the right decisions. Ages 8 12.
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I purchased this book for my 8 year old sports fanatic to read as part of his daily homework assignment. It is tough to find books for a strong reader that he is interested in and that have an actual story line (if you've ever attempted to read super hero or Lego books you know what I mean). I read this myself before giving it to him and I was very impressed. The story describes Jeter's childhood passion for baseball and how he went about making his dream a reality. He had goals, a supportive family, and rules he had to follow to assist him on his journey. This is a great inspiring story for any sports fan no matter which team you root for. It is very rare to find athletes that are excellent role models see days. As always, Derek Jeter is a class act and gives children and young adults living proof that if you work hard enough, anything is possible. I highly recommend this well written, relatable book.