Keeping Score

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Both Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick, were named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn’t play baseball—but at almost ten years old, she is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maggie can recite all the players’ statistics and understands the subtleties of the game. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but it’s Jim who teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Not only can she revisit every play of every inning, but by keeping score she feels she’s more than just a fan: she’s helping her team.
Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments—being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she’s determined to provide it. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War on the home front, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference.
Even those readers who think they don’t care about baseball will be drawn into the world of the true and ardent fan. Linda Sue Park’s captivating story will, of course, delight those who are already keeping score.
Curriculet Details
51 Questions
47 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in fifth grade, this digital curriculum contains annotations explaining dialect, simile, and idioms. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about baseball and literary devices. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of theme, character, and author's craft. This unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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The word "hafta" is used in place of "have to" in this quote to show a certain way of speaking. This is an example of a dialect, or type of non-standard English spoken by a group of people. This story takes place in New York, and the author is trying to make her characters sound authentic by highlighting their dialect in the dialogue. Look for more examples of the New York dialect throughout the text. 
Now known as the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team was originally based in New York from 1884-1957. The organization moved to Los Angeles in 1958. See the picture below of members of the team during the Brooklyn Dodgers era. (This annotation contains an image)
In this quote, the author uses                     to make the character sound authentic. 
This video explains the difference between simile and metaphor. Use what you learn to figure out whether the highlighted phrase is a simile or a metaphor. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is the new guy being given a hard time? 
This sentence helps the reader predict that 


According to the text, Maggie and Treecie are "best-friends-for-life." Use details from the text to explain how they are both alike and different and consider how this adds to their friendship. 
Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was the first African American to play Major League Baseball. This had a profound impact on America's views about segregation and contributed greatly to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson is also widely renowned as one of the greatest players of all time. (This annotation contains an image)
From the highlighted passage, you can infer that 
This text, written in italics, represents the voice of the baseball announcer on the radio giving the details of the game. Watch the video below to see a play similar to the one described in the text where the runner rounds third and slides to score at home. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Maggie excited about learning to keep score during baseball games? Include examples from the text to support your thinking. 
Below is a picture of a baseball score book with plays being filled in. (This annotation contains an image)
What do Maggie's scoring efforts say about her character? 
An emerging theme in this text might be 


The video below has footage of Ebbets Field and includes some of the people referred to in the book, such as Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, and Red Barber (the announcer). The field was demolished in 1960. (This annotation contains a video)
The author uses this simile to show that Maggie's dad  
What does the exclamation point represent about the out Joey-Mick made during the game? 
Below is a picture of a Willie Mays baseball card. For generations, kids and adults have collected and traded them. Rare cards can be worth a great deal of money. (This annotation contains an image)
This is an example of an idiom, a non-literal type of language that authors often use. No one would really want to eat their hat, so the saying is used when someone is confident that something will not happen. This statement shows Jim's confidence in Willie Mays' abilities. 
In this sentence, the word dwindling means 


Why does Maggie think God must be a Yankee fan? 
A jinx is something believed to cause bad luck. Many baseball players and fans (like Maggie and Joey-Mick) have superstitions about objects or actions that might have a lucky or unlucky influence on whether or not their team loses or wins. 
This sentence is an example of a 
Why does the author include Maggie's thoughts here? What is she trying to tell us about Maggie? Use evidence from the text to support your conclusions. 
The video below is of the exact moment described in the book. (This annotation contains a video)
Why might Maggie be feeling itchy? 


The Korean war was fought between 1950 and 1953. The U.S. intervened on behalf of South Korea after North Korea invaded. It was the first military action of the Cold War and was viewed as a fight against Communism.  
How does the author show that Charky is an intelligent dog? Give examples from the text that prove your point. 
CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) is an organization that originally sent packages of food and supplies to people overseas in danger of starving after WWII. The term CARE package has come to refer to any package of goods sent to comfort someone. 
The author probably used all capital letters in certain parts of this text to 
Below is a picture of a soldier taken during the Korean War that is similar to the one described in the text.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does Treecie mean with this comment? 
This picture shows the Korean alphabet. Think about the similarities and differences can you see between this and the English alphabet. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapters 1-5 Quiz 


Which of the following could be said about Treecie? 
A prisoner of war, or POW, is someone who has been captured and held by the enemy during wartime. See the picture below of American soldiers held as POW's during the Korean War. (This annotation contains an image)
Compare and contrast how Maggie and Joey-Mick deal with their nervousness during the game. Be sure to include details from the text that support your ideas. 
This is a picture of Billy Martin rushing to make the famous catch that dashed the Brooklyn Dodgers' hopes in the 1952 World Series. (This annotation contains an image)
Why would Maggie think her beloved Dodgers and dear friend, Jim, are stupid? 
Photo of Willie Mays in his army uniform. He missed most of the 1952 baseball season and all of the 1953 season serving in the army. (This annotation contains an image)


In order to understand the war, Maggie is thinking of it in terms of  
In this passage, Maggie's mom explains that the library at Grand Army Plaza was built to resemble a book. Study the picture of the actual library below. Can you see the similarities to a book in the building's design? (This annotation contains an image)
Before articles could be archived on the Internet, they had to be accessed using a microfilm reader at the library. The video below shows a 1950's era microfilm reader like the one Maggie and her mom may have used. (This annotation contains a video)
Maggie is feeling better about her quest to understand the war because 
Communism is a political system based on the belief that there should be no privately owned property. The government controls all means of making and transporting products. 
Why did the U.S. get involved in the Korean conflict? 
Why might the author have bothered to add the illustrations to this book? Explain how they add to the meaning and your understanding of the story. 
This section of text shows that Maggie is an intelligent girl who can use clues to deduce information. It also shows that she is a caring person who can identify with how scary this situation must be for those who live there. 


Why is this good news for both Maggie and Jim? 
The army still has baseball teams today and even puts together an all star team to play in front of crowds. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the letter, what might they both be thinking? 
The language in this passage helps to build suspense. The details about the thick air, taking a deep breath, and hearing it in her lungs all add a feeling of anxiety to this scene.  
What might a "quiet smile" mean? 
What Maggie's dad is describing could be something called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is something that can occur when a person experiences an extremely traumatic event such as war.  
The highlighted text is an example of which literary device? 
Do you agree that Maggie has been selfish? Use evidence from the text to support your opinion. 


The three dots between the words "maybe" are called an ellipsis. This is used either to take the place of words omitted from a quote or, in this case, to show a pause in the flow of a sentence. Consider why the author might have used an ellipsis here and how it impacts the text. 
A telegram was a way to send messages quickly over distances before we had the Internet. The word STOP indicated the end of a thought or sentence. 
Why wouldn't her dad let the family watch the parade from the street? 
Vin Scully went on to be the voice of the Dodgers through their move to Los Angeles and still holds the position today. (This annotation contains an image)
How has Maggie's perception of her dad changed? 


Confirmation is one of the Catholic religion's seven sacraments. It is a ceremony that is meant to seal and strengthen one's faith and marks a rite of passage for young Catholics. 
The word ceaselessly means 
Consider the change in prices since the 1950's: today, the least expensive tickets for a Dodger game would cost you about $30. 
This sentence illustrates which of the following themes? 
The expression "sitting in the catbird seat" was made famous by Red Barber during his baseball announcing days and is still used as an idiom today. It means to have the upper hand or an advantage over someone else. 
What does this passage show about Maggie's character? Use evidence from the text to support your ideas. 
This phrase is an example of  
This might be the author's way of showing how impressed he is with Maggie. We know, of course, that he has seen a dime before, yet he is looking at it with wonder. It can be inferred that the dime is a symbol for Maggie's thoughtfulness towards Jim and commitment to saving the money necessary to help him. 
Chapters 6-10 


The video below shows scenes from Ebbets Field through the years and discusses its special place in the hearts of baseball fans. Use the video to help you imagine what Maggie describes in the coming pages. (This annotation contains a video)
Which literary device is used multiple times in  this passage to add rhythm and interest? 
Notice the short, choppy sentences and phrases in the highlighted text. The author is using the sentence structure to create a paragraph that mimics Maggie's feeling of noticing so many exciting things that she is almost experiencing sensory overload. 
Compare and contrast Maggie's experience of listening to a game on the radio to watching a game in person at Ebbets Field. Be sure to provide examples from the text to support your thinking. 


Comparing Dad to a mother hen and a mother grizzly bear is using metaphor to describe how protective he is. In this sentence, the words "like" or "as" are not being used; instead, he is being directly compared to the two animals. This is why the sentence is a metaphor rather than a simile.  
This vivid description shows that Maggie is feeling 
The author uses vivid descriptive language here to illustrate the change in Maggie's feelings. It is a wonderful example of "show, not tell" writing. 
This phrase means 
This idea is part of the premise of the highly successful book (and movie) Moneyball. The author showed that on-base percentage, which takes walks into account, is a more accurate prediction than batting averages alone. 


Do you agree with the highlighted sentence? Provide evidence from the text to support your opinion. 
This is another example of Maggie's beliefs in relation to her Catholic faith and how it shapes her point of view. She goes on to connect it to baseball in the next paragraph. 
Which of the following quotes could represent a theme in this text? 
This "big sacrifice" shows how much Maggie wants Jim to get better. She is willing to pray that the Giants win over her beloved Dodgers because she believes it might help him in some way. 
How does Maggie deal with not being able to root for the Dodgers? 
This sentence seems to sum up Maggie's belief in her religion and her favorite player very well. 
Why does Maggie take a bite of the sandwich? 
Watch the video of this amazing catch below, then consider the following question. How would you evaluate Maggie's description compared to the actual event? (This annotation contains a video)
How have Maggie's emotions shifted during the course of this chapter? Use examples from the text to support your thinking. 


During this era, many stores were run by their owners, who worked there every day. Customers were local residents who were usually on a first name basis with the shop owners. 
Why were civilians being hit by "friendly fire"?  
Notice the descriptive way in which the author helps the reader understand how devastated Maggie feels upon hearing this news. 
A central idea or theme from this text could be 
The author is reminding the reader that Treecie has the kind of personality that makes itself known to everyone in a positive way. 
How would you describe Maggie's feelings right now? 


The dashes in these phrases show that one character is interrupting the other. The dash shows where one speaker cuts off and the other begins. 
Why do Maggie's eyes widen? 
The term higgledy-piggledy means in a disorganized or messy way. 
Which of the following quotes could be a theme of this text? 
During the 1950's, it was fairly uncommon for women to hold jobs once they got married, which meant few had an opportunity to develop interesting careers. This book would be perfect for a forward thinking girl like Treecie. 
This sentence shows that the letter is                     to Maggie. 
Chapters 11-15