Tanker 10 takes place in the 70s and tells the story of Jimmy over several years. We first meet Jimmy and he has turned 10 years old and gotten a baseball glove. Shortly after that, there is an accident caused by Jimmy’s older brother Cliff, who loves to pick on him. Jimmy ends up needing to have emergency surgery and while he’ll end up ok, the rest of his life will be affected.
He begins to try and lose weight so that he will be more in shape to play baseball, which he loves. When another tragedy strikes in Jimmy’s life he isn’t sure that he wants to continue with baseball. But he goes back to try outs and continues with his goal to play on the all-star game. The book follows him to college where he is trying out for the UMass baseball team.
While this book appeared to be more about baseball – it wasn’t. It focused more on Jimmy’s life and issues with growing up. While baseball is the constant throughout the book, it is more about watching Jimmy grow and learn to find himself through his awkward teen stages and deal with the issues that are coming up in his life. I laughed, I cried, I felt for Jimmy and all that he had to go through and overcome.
I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
A timely and compelling story about a bullied and overweight boy and his love of baseball. “Tanker 10” opens in Brockton, MA, in 1976, where bashful and overweight 10-year-old Jimmy just wants to read his books and toss the ball with his best friend Ben. Unfortunately, Jimmy is an entertaining victim for his older brother Cliff and his buddies. When Jimmy tries to stand up to Cliff, the verbal abuse turns physical and an accident sends Jimmy to the hospital with an injury that changes the trajectory of his life. Tanker 10 depicts the story of Jimmy during his pre-teen and teenage years as he struggles to mend his physical and psychological injuries. Finding salvation through baseball, he dedicates himself to a strict regimen, taking him from intramurals baseball to Little League. By the time he reaches high school, Jimmy is no longer the fat kid throwing a ball against a wall but an up-and-coming right fielder on the freshman baseball team. Yet despite his successful recovery, Jimmy remains ill at ease with himself. He longs for emotional and physical intimacy and grapples with finding his place in his family, among his friends, and with his brother Cliff. Jonathan Curelop, a lifelong baseball fan who was bullied as a child for being overweight, has written a poignant fictional account of a character in search of himself. His debut novel, Tanker 10, is a funny and heart-wrenching coming-of-age journey toward self-acceptance in the wake of trauma. Centered around baseball, the story deals with the serious ramifications of identity and acceptance.