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Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip: Book Review

Guest Blogger: Owen, a 13-year-old who loves playing shortstop.

Alzheimer's disease and other progressive neurodegenerative diseases that impair cognitive ability and affect memory can have a significant long-term impact on a family. As part of Our Commitment to create spaces for multiple generations to come together, we asked a young teen, Owen, to review the book Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick. Owen offers his authentic perspective on Alzheimer’s disease by reviewing this book. 

Traditions understands that each senior in our care has a unique life story, something that is very important to how we care for him or her. The Varietas® Memory Care Program relies on the things we learn about your loved one to comfort and connect with them in a warm and nurturing environment. Learn more here

Curveball The Year I Lost My Grip: Book Review 

What’s the book about?

The book starts out with Peter pitching and AJ, his best friend, catching in the championship Little League game. But soon after you find out that he hurt his arm very badly and the doctors told him that he most likely will not pitch again. 

All summer we are told he has sat inside and done nothing. So his grandpa takes him out to go take pictures of eagles. His grandpa runs a business where he takes pictures of whatever people want. So when freshman year starts he takes a photography class. In that class he meets Angelika, they become partners and become close. During that time they are the official photographers for all sporting events and eventually start dating. 

During this time Peter is starting to catch on that his grandfather is having symptoms of Alzheimer's. He definitely knew when his grandfather who had been taking pictures his whole life suddenly quit.  At the same time, Peter knows that he is never going to pitch again;  despite it being his and AJ's dream to always be the stars on the baseball team.  Peter and Angelika become very close and Peter starts to tell her about his worries. He figures out his love is really photography and decides to create a new dream.

Through this story, Peter goes through struggles but learns how to be flexible through his friendships and love.

Will this book help you with understanding Alzheimer's?

I think like everything this 'depends on the situation you are in'. It definitely helped me understand the starting symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.  For most families or people of a younger age this would most definitely be a better way to learn then someone trying to explain it to you in a very grown-up fashion. 

Side note it does not go in that much depth of the disease if that is what your looking for. So if for those people who don't want to rush in and tell someone that a loved one has Alzheimer's. The book does a very good job at introducing the disease and then summarizing it up.

Should you read this book?

This book is a great tool to use if you are not comfortable telling someone that a loved one has Alzheimer's. Obviously a lot of the story is based on baseball and photography, but there is a lot of relatable moments through out the book because it is a realistic  fiction style of book. This book would definitely be more appropriate for a teenager; because the characters are in high school and there is talk about parties and dating. 

Parts of the book are dedicated to the grandson spending time with his grandfather and figuring out the symptoms he is showing to have Alzheimer's. I would definitely recommend this book to people struggling to understand what a relative is starting to go through or may go through with Alzheimer's.

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