Rob Wardell is a seventeen-year old who feels like he doesn’t quite fit in anywhere–not at home, not at school and not on the baseball field. The small, shy boy stays on the high school baseball team only to please his father since he knows he will never get to play. He’s living his life alone until he finds himself drawn into a friendship with the team’s new star pitcher, Josh Schlagel. The two boys hit it off instantly; maybe it’s because Josh isn’t exactly welcomed by the team either. But as Rob and Josh grow closer and start spending more time together away from the field, Rob realizes this his friend is hiding something. The bruises on Josh’s body and his reluctance to let Rob know about certain parts of his life have Rob suspicious. When Josh’s secrets are finally revealed and become life threatening, Rob and his family must step up to the plate.
Once I began reading 'Rounding Third' I started to sing the song 'It Gets Better, Better, Better' to Bobby and Josh, since it seemed their lives just kept getting worse and worse and worse. I kept thinking, Where's the cavalry? Why don't these poor boys have more support during this insanity? Surely things have got to turn around soon! Finally, about midway through the book, help arrives. It may sound as if I didn't appreciate 'Rounding Third', but nothing could be further from the truth. I was profoundly affected. At times I read with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and my heart pounding. I was so terribly angry, yet I simply had to know what would happen next even though the future seemed dismal. I was especially impressed by Bobby and how he chose to face up to the abuse rather than letting it rule his life. He worked to incorporate his uniqueness, rather than reject it and listen to the inexcusable messages of distain bestowed upon him for being different. My heart went out to Josh. He lacked Bobby's self confidence and nurturing, therefore, he had no compass to follow. He wasn't able to defend himself and it almost destroyed him. Unlike Rob who was able to slide roughly, but safely home, poor Josh had struck out before he even got up to bat. 'Rounding Third' is definitely not for casual reading; it's intense and very worthwhile. Its bold message broke my heart, but perhaps that's what's needed. Maybe more hearts need to be broken. More people need to be unsettled because that's what it will take for things to change. Although it will be most appreciated by young gay men, anyone could benefit from reading 'Rounding Third'. It's my sincere hope that many people do. - Lena Grey, Queer Magazine Online "Walter Meyer has written a moving and powerful story of intense love between two young jocks. Rounding Third is a page turner and I couldn't put it down once I started reading. You find yourself deeply caring for the fate of the characters and moved by their struggle to find themselves and each other. A unique, well written and wonderful novel." - David Mixner, author of “Stranger Among Friends” WOW. This book took me back 25 years to when I was the age of these characters 16 to 18. I don't want to give anything away but I will say it captured all the emotions, thoughts, dreams, that I went through. It is a timeless story about love. Ahhh first loves. Anyone who was a teen or is a teen now needs to read this book. It was close to reading my own story. It really brought back the emotions I felt with my first love. I am still not over it to this day. - James Robinson I recommend Rounding Third! Poignant and sensitive! And for me, a real eye-opener! It is a very compelling story. There were parts that were uncomfortable for me as a heterosexual, but then I imagine that you experience that in the reverse. I also found it heart-wrenching, know that those things do happen to people and it makes me just sick. Thank you for having the strength to tell the story. I look forward to the sequel. - Sharon Wiederrich Miller Odden The first time I read this book, I finished it in a matter of days (and it would have been sooner had it not been for life's other callings). Meyer's gift for storytelling and his attention to detail immediately pull the reader into the world that is Rounding Third; his vibrant and precise writing brings the characters to life. As such, the characters in this story are very relatable. The second time I read this book, it took me a little longer because I read it more carefully. As a sociology instructor, I can see myself using this book in a course to explore issues of masculinity, sexuality, and family structure among others. Rounding Third is an unfortunate timeless story in many regards. This book is important because it brings to light the untold experiences of many adolescents in the U.S. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read, and to anyone interested in issues of masculinity and sexuality. - R. Pacheco-McEvoy