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Twelve-year-old Charlie Nebraska wants two things he can't get: to make the local baseball team and to have life to return to the way it was before his father died two years earlier in the Korean War.
When Charlie meets Luther Peale, a stranger who quietly and mysteriously arrives in Charlie's small Iowa town, and sets up camp near the river, the two strike up a friendship. Luther is a former Negro Baseball League player, and he agrees to coach Charlie's fledgling neighborhood baseball team.
But many of the town's white residents are suspicious of Luther because of his skin color. And when Charlie inadvertently reveals a secret of Luther's, violence erupts in the town and both Luther and Charlie are drawn into serious danger.
Authors Carol Gorman and Ron J. Findley have created two highly memorable, emotionally complex characters in this dramatic story set in the days of the Negro Leagues that illustrates the meanings of friendship, prejudice, and heroism.