Pinch Hit

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Trevor and Sam look alike. But their lives couldn't be more different.

Trevor is a movie star, living the Hollywood life in a huge mansion with his own limo, pool, and bowling alley. There's nothing he doesn't have except the one thing he wants most: to play baseball for real.

Sam is a regular kid who seems to have what it takes to make it to baseball's Major Leagues. He's determined to get the scouts at the big USC tournament to recognize his talent. And he really wants to see his dad, a struggling screenwriter, realize his own dream.

When Sam signs up at Casting Central to make some extra money, he and Trevor come together on a movie set and see the chance to trade places—to pinch hit for each other and make everyone's dreams come true.

At first, it's all good. . . . But what happens when the boys take their game too far?

Curriculet Details
63 Questions
53 Annotations
3 Quizzes

In this 5th grade digital curriculum annotations include photos to describe events and objects, descriptions of baseball terminology, with explanations of literary devices such as simile and metaphor. The common core aligned questions and answers address setting, plot, theme, morality, and the importance of family. This free online unit will increase engage students who are interested in reading sports stories. Comprehension questions and quizzes are embedded directly into the book.

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1 Trevor

A scene similar to what the author is describing as we begin the story. (This annotation contains an image)
After reading this paragraph, how would you describe McKenna? 
Here is a picture of a movie studio similar to what the author is describing. The doors have to be wide to be able to move equipment in and out, similar to an airplane hangar door. (This annotation contains an image)

2 Sam

A Ferrari is an expensive sports car made in Italy.  (This annotation contains an image)
From what you have read so far, what do you think this book is about? 
Sam is reading The Count of Monte Cristo, a classic story that takes place in the nineteenth century in France. (This annotation contains an image)
From reading the table of contents and the first two chapters, we can see that the author 

3 Trevor

From what you have read so far about Trevor's mom, what type of mom do you think she is? 
Here is the website for Beverly Hills High School (This annotation contains a link)
The author is using the image of a boxer's fist to show us that Trevor is upset and a maybe a little angry at what he sees.  (This annotation contains an image)

4 Sam

Here is Robert Pattinson and his stand-in for the movie, Twilight. (This annotation contains an image)
In this sentence, "the wheels turning in his father's head" suggests that 

5 Trevor

Dodger Stadium (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Trevor not enjoy the experience of playing ball with the Dodgers? 

6 Sam

Watch the video below to learn about theme. What do you think the theme of this story is? (This annotation contains a video)
From what you know so far about Sam and Trevor, write three or four sentences explaining how their lives are similar and how their lives are different. 

7 Trevor

"The gold standard" is a term used to describe someone who is the best at what they do. It is a metaphor that compares something or someone to the International fixed price of gold. 

8 Sam

From reading this page we can see clearly that 

9 Sam

From what you have read so far about McKenna, what type of girl do you think she is? 
The University of Southern California is in Los Angeles. (This annotation contains an image)

11 Trevor

As Trevor and McKenna discuss the possibility that he may be Sam's twin, what type of relationship would you say they have? 

12 Sam

In this ancient voting method, one black ball means that the vote is overturned or that the person being voted for is not allowed into the organization. Some secret organizations still use this method. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think the author ends each chapter with an element of surprise or suspense? 

14 Sam

Sam is feeling 
Example of the USC Elite Training Center for baseball. (This annotation contains a link)

15 Trevor

As Trevor describes his life to Sam, it is evident that Trevor 

17 Trevor

Filet mignon is an expensive cut of beef, usually served rare. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the video below to hear how you pronounce "filet mignon." (This annotation contains a video)
Make a prediction about what you think will happen when Trevor meets Dorian Klum. 

18 Trevor

Throughout the story the author refers to Shakespearean works and quotes. Here is a website that will help you understand Shakespeare a little better. (This annotation contains a link)

19 Sam

From the author's description of the sky, what is the weather like? 

20 Sam

Bel Air is an affluent area of Los Angeles, CA, where many celebrities reside. (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't Sam feel like he can pretend to be Trevor? 

22 Sam

This sentence contains a 
The video below includes an explanation of how an author uses figurative language, such as similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
A batting cage similar to what Trevor's might look like. (This annotation contains an image)

23 Trevor

How is Sam's glove different from Trevor's? 
This chapter paints a picture that says 

24 Sam

"Master" is a term used in England to address young men of distinction and rank. 

25 Sam

By giving Dolph the five thousand-dollar jersey, Sam is showing that he is feeling 

26 Trevor

Who is more comfortable with the situation of switching places, Trevor or Sam? 
Jasmine is a fragrant vine that is common in California. (This annotation contains an image)
From what you have read about Sam's dad so far, describe the type of person you think he is. 
The movie the author is referring to is based on a book published in 1850 by the English writer Charles Dickens. (This annotation contains a link)

28 Trevor

Compared to Sam, Trevor is more 

30 Trevor

Examples of some baseball drills. (This annotation contains a video)

31 Sam

Quiz, Part One 

32 Sam

Here is a short video that explains green screens. If you make a web page sometime you might want to think about these tips! (This annotation contains a video)
Do you think it would be easier to fake being a ball player or an actor? Why? 

34 Sam

At this point in the story both boys are feeling ________ about themselves in their switched roles as baseball player and actor. 

35 Trevor

Here are some ways to identify pitching types. (This annotation contains a link)

36 Sam

What does the metaphor His mom was a shadow he never knew indicate? 

37 Trevor

Here is a link to some texting symbols. (This annotation contains a link)

38 Sam

Gabriel is referring to statistics such as these... (This annotation contains a link)

39 Sam

Why does McKenna behave in this way? 

40 Trevor

Palos Verdes is a group of affluent coastal towns near Los Angeles. (This annotation has embedded rich content)

41 Trevor

How do you think Trevor feels about remembering this particular Shakespearean quote? 

42 Sam

Here is a sample of a typed manuscript. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the reason that Stu wants to include Trevor's dad in the conversation about the script? 

43 Trevor

IN-N-OUT is a popular fast-food franchise in California. (This annotation contains an image)
Write a few sentences describing what Sam's dad really means when he says fighting is not part of the game. 

45 Sam

Stu is _______________________ 

46 Trevor

If you have ever been bullied, you know how Trevor is feeling. What would you do if you were Trevor? 
Trevor is not used to having to walk into a Jamba Juice because his assistants always bring him what he needs. (This annotation contains an image)
Trevor senses that Dorian's dad may be 

47 Trevor

Which of the following words describes how Trevor is feeling as he apologizes to Dorian? 
If you, or someone you know, is being bullied, here is a website that might help. (This annotation contains a link)

48 Sam

If you are interested in the concept of a whipping boy, here is a Newbery Award winning book you might enjoy. (This annotation contains a link)
Do you agree with McKenna that Trevor will be in favor of finding his biological mother? Why or why not? 

49 Trevor

Having the skills he has learned as an actor is helpful to Trevor in this stressful situation. 
Why does Trevor change his mind about telling Mr. Palomaki what a jerk Dorian really is? 

51 Sam

Living a public life as a celebrity has its advantages and its disadvantages. Here, Trevor is describing how hard this publicity would be on his family. 

52 Sam

As an famous actor and a son of wealthy parents Trevor is more _________than Sam. 

53 Trevor

Comparing Trevor's life to Sam's write a few sentences describing who you think has a happier life and why. 

54 Sam

A private helicopter similar to the one described in the story. (This annotation contains an image)
Who or what do you think Sam misses the most as he lives Trevor's life of priviledge and fame? 
Since the traffic in Los Angeles can be quite congested, Trevor's mother utilizes her private helicopter to save time when traveling through L.A. (This annotation contains an image)

55 Trevor

Make a prediction about how you think this game will end and what will happen to Trevor and Sam. 
This paragraph tells us that Sam is 

56 Sam

Beautiful homes such as these line the beach in Malibu and southern California. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Mr. Goldman wants to talk privately to Sam? 

57 Sam

Sara does not seem like a person who can be trusted, does she? 
Why did Mr. Goldman give the animation account to Sara Grant? 

58 Trevor

Think about how exhilarating the sound of the crack of the bat on that ball must be for Trevor! 

59 Trevor

Using Trevor as an example, in  three or four sentences explain why money cannot buy happiness. 

61 Trevor

Not allowing Dorian to ruin his day shows that Trevor possesses the quality of 
Other than playing baseball, what else is Trevor enjoying in his role as Sam? 

62 Sam

Why does Trevor tell Sam that he "owes him big"? 
On this page the author is developing the characters of Mr. Palomaki and Mr. Goldman. (This annotation contains a video)

63 Sam

If you were Sam, would you allow Trevor to take your place in the semifinal?  Why, or why not? 
What is the author trying to say about Mr. Goldman when he describes him as being "like a lion"? 

65 Sam

What two things might the fathers of the two boys have in common? 
A grilled lobster dinner. (This annotation contains an image)
Part Two Quiz 

66 Trevor

Trevor really likes Sam's dad because Mr. Palomaki 
Think about the title of the book as you read the description of a pinch hitter. (This annotation contains a link)
Why do you think Sam gets upset when Trevor mentions McKenna? 

67 Sam

The author uses the simile "dissolving like a bread crust in acid" to describe 

68 Trevor

The term "cakewalk" originated in the 1890's. Here is a short video to demonstrate. (This annotation contains a video)

70 Sam

This simile demonstrates that Sam is nervous. 
Moffit probably won't tell anyone about his discovery because he has to maintain a reputation of  

72 Sam

Lox is a term used to describe smoked salmon, often eaten on a bagel with cream cheese. (This annotation contains an image)
This comment tells us that Stu feels 

74 Sam

What is the favor Sam is referring to? 

75 Sam

The author uses his craft to keep the reader in suspense at the end of every chapter. 

77 Sam

How does Sam feel at this point? 

79 Sam

Here is a chain-link fence similar to the one Sam is clinging to. (This annotation contains an image)

80 Sam

Why do you think players are disqualified if they are substituted in the middle of a game? 

81 Trevor

Trevor is experiencing inner conflict. He wants so badly to be recognized for his talents as a baseball player. (This annotation contains a video)

83 Trevor

Trevor's behavior is causing Coach Sharp to be 

85 Trevor

Can you visualize Wolf running onto the field?  (This annotation contains an image)

87 Sam

What quality does Sam have that makes him a good ballplayer? 

89 Sam

A scene that is similar to Sam's home run. (This annotation contains a video)

90 Trevor

What does this sentence tell you about Trevor? 

91 Sam

Think about a time in your life when you felt tension. How do you imagine Sam feels right now? (This annotation contains a video)

93 Sam

In spite of being a bully, Dorian is a good 

94 Sam

What caused Dorian not to win the MVP award? 

95 Sam

Butlers are common in celebrity households. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz, Part Three