Fair Ball

Fair Ball

For Ages: 8 - 12
Inspired by Derek Jeter’s own life, Fair Ball is the fourth middle grade novel in the New York Times bestselling Jeter Publishing Program and focuses on the theme “the world isn’t always fair.”

Life isn’t always fair. You can’t control that, but you can control how you think and act when things don’t go your way. You have to hang in there and keep after it, not get down and give up.

Derek has a lot to look forward to. School is almost out, his baseball team is competing in the Westwood Little League Playoffs, and then he’ll head to his grandparents’ house for the summer. Sure, there are finals to study for first, but Derek doesn’t mind. Maybe this year he’ll get better grades than Gary. But when his best friend Dave starts to act strangely, ignoring Derek and canceling their plans, his summer isn’t looking quite so fun. What’s going on? Doesn’t he want to be Derek’s friend anymore?

Derek is so distracted by his problems with Dave that he makes a mistake in the outfield during a key play—and his team loses the game. It’s so unfair! With the championship at stake and finals looming, Derek needs to stay focused or risk everything.
  • Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481491501 | 
  • April 2017 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price £8.49 (price may vary by retailer)


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Reading Group Guide

Fair Ball

By Derek Jeter

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Fair Ball

by Derek Jeter with Paul Mantell

Discussion Questions

Chapter 1—Playoffs!

Derek Jeter has a lot to look forward to. The Indians, his baseball team, are competing in the Westwood Little League playoffs; his best friend, Dave, is going to sleep over; and Derek is excited about the plans to visit his grandparents in New Jersey during the upcoming summer break. With the season playoffs approaching, team and player expectations are high. Can the Indians win and secure the team’s chance to compete for the Kalamazoo Trophy? What could go wrong?

Describe and discuss a time when you or a family member were anticipating a great event or trip. Did everything go as expected? If so, how did you contribute to its success? If not, briefly explain what went wrong.

In The Contract, Hit & Miss and Change Up, the first three books in the series, we are reminded that Derek’s parents established a contract to ensure he succeeds in school and accomplishes his life dreams. This contract lists several expectations and carries consequences for breaking the rules. Fair Ball has examples of that as well. Have you discussed writing a contract with your parents?

Also in Fair Ball, Derek realizes that sometimes in life when your joys and expectations are so high, see more

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About the Author

Derek Jeter
Maureen Cavanagh/Jeter Publishing

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is a fourteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series winner who has played for one team—the storied New York Yankees—for all twenty seasons of his major league career. His grace and class on and off the field have made him an icon and role model far beyond the world of baseball.