Fast Pitch (Hardcover)
Shenice Lockwood is the proud captain of the Fulton Firebirds—the first all-Black 12U softball team to play in the Dixie Youth Softball Association. You could say that playing ball is in Shenice’s blood—her father saw a promising baseball career cut short by injury, and his father had a brief career in the Negro leagues. But just as Shenice is getting ready to lead her team to the regional tournament, her great-uncle Jack throws her a real curveball when he shines new light on a long-kept family secret. Can Shenice solve the mystery and steer her team to a win? Discussions of race, history, and the civil rights movement are are woven into this fun, fast-paced adventure.— Noah
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field.
Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way.
Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat.
Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending—and family-name-ruining—crime may have been a setup.
Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. And Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified.
It's up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past—and fast—before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.
About the Author
NIC STONE is the New York Times bestselling author of Clean Getaway, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, who called it “an absolute firecracker of a book.” She is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling and William C. Morris Award finalist Dear Martin, its New York Times bestselling sequel Dear Justyce, and the acclaimed novels Odd One Out and Jackpot for teens.
Nic spent several years on the softball field as a kid, and Fast Pitch grew out of her love of the sport and the movie The Sandlot, and her desire to see more Black female athletes represented on the field and on the page. Nic lives in Atlanta with her adorable little family. You can find her online at nicstone.info.
“A grand slam of an adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Black girl magic hits a home run in Stone's latest novel." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Books like “Fast Pitch” are welcome evidence that writers for young readers are continuing to move beyond narratives in which the primary problem is a character’s marginalization." -The New York Times
"Tensions are high as the plot bounces between gameplay and sleuthing, ultimately reaching a satisfying conclusion.... Readers of all ages will cheer for Shenice." —Booklist
“A sports mystery that will keep readers engaged from start to finish…Discussions about race and civil rights are seamlessly woven into the narrative through Shenice’s own experiences.” —School Library Journal
"This contemporary sports story goes beyond mere genre appeal; it is a novel of substance, carrying the weight of history.” –The Horn Book