Skip to content


Named one of the best chapter books of the year by the New York Public Library and included in the 101st edition of NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Named one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year by the Bank Street College of Education
NPR’s Backseat Book Club Pick for October 2013!
A 2013-14 Iowa Children’s Choice Award nominee
A 2014-15 Young Hoosiers Book Award nominee


“An uncommonly thoughtful baseball novel.”—Publishers Weekly

“Well-developed characters and a strong narrative voice make this novel about much
more than baseball…. Pitch-perfect.”
—School Library Journal

“[A] kid-smart novel … Northrop, a former reporter and editor at Sports Illustrated Kids, knows baseball and kids. He weaves an entertaining story about how the games we play can be mental as well as physical.”—USA Today

Plunked takes a very common fear among young ballplayers—the fear of being hit by the baseball—and turns it into a well-crafted story and fun read. The sharp dialogue, the characters and, yes, maybe even a little bit of that anxiety will resonate with young readers.”
—Tom Verducci, senior writer, Sports Illustrated

Plunked gives a marvelous degree of attention to the second-to-second details of youth baseball. Any kid who has ever loved a sport to the point of obsession will feel the fastball screaming into Jack’s batting helmet.”—Gordon Korman, author of Swindle

“Readers will appreciate this down-to-earth sports story that stays within its game, offering … a realistic story rooted in the writer’s knowledge of the game and what it means to its young players.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“What Northrop does particularly well here is to dig into the deep, complex psychology of an at-bat, where there’s so much more going on than a simple meeting or missing of a ball and bat.”—Booklist

“It practically smells like freshly mowed grass.”—Librarian Nico Piro, Arlington, VA

GET PLUNKED: the trailer!

Sixth grader Jack Mogens has it all figured out: He’s got his batting routine down, and his outfielding earns him a starting spot alongside his best friend Andy on their Little League team, the Tall Pines Braves. He even manages to have a not-totally-embarrassing conversation with Katie, the team’s killer shortstop. But in the first game of the season, a powerful stray pitch brings everything Jack’s worked so hard for crashing down around his ears. How can he explain to his parents and friends why he won’t be playing? Readers will root for Jack as he finds the courage to step back up to the plate.

Now available at your local bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and on Amazon.


leave a comment
  1. Jacob / Apr 18 2012

    will you make a sequel? i LOVED! this book!

  2. Michael / Apr 20 2012

    Thanks, Jacob! I’m really glad you enjoyed it so much—and you’re the first person to comment on this page! I had a blast writing this book, and I would love to write more about Jack and the rest of the team. I have a few other things I have to write/edit first, though. (Man, I really need more than one of me…) One of those things is another sports book (probably football) that I hope will be really cool.

    Anyway, thanks again!

  3. Mia Vasquez / Feb 16 2013

    I was looking for a good baseball book to read because I wanted to get into sport more and this what I find: an amazing that goes into an amazing first person point of view and was really funny! thank you so much for writing this book so now I am really into baesball and can recomend this book to friends.

  4. Michael / Feb 17 2013

    Thanks, Mia! This comment really made my day. I am thrilled that you enjoyed PLUNKED so much—and you found it just in time for a new baseball season!

    Thanks again for writing. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

  5. mia vasquez / Feb 18 2013

    yeah! i hope you have a great week too! I hope you make another book based on Jack and his team soon! And I’m going to read Trapped! It looks really interesting!!!

  6. Michael / Feb 18 2013

    Hi Mia! That’s really cool. I hope you enjoy Trapped!

  7. Mia Vasquez / Feb 22 2013

    yeah i did!!!! i’m a fast reader so i was able to read quickly and i loved it!!!!!!!!

  8. Michael / Feb 23 2013

    That’s awesome, Mia! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again!

  9. Mia Vasquez / Mar 1 2013

    yeah you too!!!

  10. george hedlund / Apr 29 2013

    i loved this book but it sad that jack got hit in the head with a baseball

  11. george hedlund / Apr 29 2013

    also i play baseball too so i know what its like hope you right back and at of all the books i read it was the best one ever

  12. Michael / Apr 29 2013

    Thanks, George! I’m really glad you liked the book so much. I definitely appreciate you writing to let me know. I played baseball when I was younger, too. Good luck this season!

  13. Emma / Aug 10 2013

    I had to read a book for my sixth grade summer reading, normally these books are boring and long but this book Plunked was AMAZING!!!! one of the best books I have ever read!!!

  14. Michael / Aug 10 2013

    Woohoo! Thanks, Emma! I’m really glad you enjoyed it so much! I hope you’re having a great summer 🙂

  15. David Ventling / Feb 7 2014

    Can you make a football book based on the sport jack Mogens likes instead of baseball?

  16. Michael / Feb 8 2014

    Hey David,
    Thanks for writing! That’s an awesome idea, especially since he’s in his last year of Little League. I wonder what position he’d play in football…

  17. Lindsay / May 10 2014

    I had to read the book twice to understand and get every little detail. However I enjoyed reading it twice and it was a fun read for me. My teacher chose to assign us to do a book report on it because she is a baseball nut. She is my 4th grade gifted teacher and takes everything to the next level! I would like to ask one question was this a true story and do you think girls have a shot in making it to the Major Leagues?

    Lindsay L.
    Bonita Springs, FL

  18. Michael / May 12 2014

    Hi Lindsay. Thanks for writing! I’m glad you enjoyed the book—twice 🙂 I had a teacher like that in 4th grade too. I had a lot of fun in that class.

    Plunked isn’t a true story, but it’s based on a lot of real experiences. I played Little League myself. I also covered a lot of youth baseball when I worked for Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. I think it’s possible that a female player could make it to the major leagues. I watch the college softball world series every year, and those players are really impressive. I think there have also been a few female knuckleball pitchers who’ve done well against high-level competition. It would definitely be cool to see!

  19. Keagan / Dec 2 2014

    pleeeeesssssse make a sequel! i want to know what happens afterwords.

  20. Michael / Dec 4 2014

    Thanks, Keagan! I am in the middle of writing my new series now, but maybe someday. I do miss writing about baseball!

  21. Queshimalaqi / Feb 28 2015

    hi michael i liked your book it is interesting

  22. Michael / Feb 28 2015

    Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  23. Queshimalaqi / Mar 1 2015

    who would you say is the static character in your book?

  24. Michael / Mar 2 2015

    Thanks for your interest, Q, but I have a pretty strict policy of not answering homework questions on here. Every time I answer one, I just get flooded with more of them! (And I am waaay too old to be doing homework!)

  25. Scar / Apr 1 2015

    Hi Michael, I really enjoyed Plunked. It really helped me enjoy myself when I do the itbs tests. I can’t wait to use this book in my school book talk.

  26. Michael / Apr 2 2015

    Hey! Thanks for writing. I’m really glad you enjoyed Plunked and that it helped make those tests a little more bearable. As an added bonus, it’s time for a new baseball season. Best of luck with the book talk!

  27. Scar / Apr 3 2015

    Hi again, I was wondering since you like the pats (i do too!) if you really enjoyed the super bowl. If you do will you write a book or comentary about it?

  28. Michael / Apr 3 2015

    Go, Pats! Yeah, I definitely enjoyed the Super Bowl. It was pretty tense for a while, but all’s well that ends well. Unfortunately, I am pretty busy and don’t think I’ll get a chance to write about it. I worked at Sports Illustrated Kids for 12 years, though, so I have definitely done my fair share of sportswriting!

  29. Kieran, Delaney, Miranda, Ethan & Caleb / Apr 28 2015

    We read this in our reading group at school and we LOVED it!. If you had time, we were hoping that you would write a sequel! Thanks for a great book! Hope to hear from you soon!

  30. Michael / Apr 29 2015

    Thank you! I am thrilled that you all enjoyed the book! I would love to write a sequel. Right now I am insanely busy with my new series (I am writing this comment from a hotel room on tour!), but hopefully I’ll have time some day. I always think about Jack and the rest of the team at the start of baseball season…

  31. Kristin / Oct 8 2015

    My small group of boys that read this book had a question on page 24. We were wondering who the mystery kid was at the batting cage who picked up Jack’s bat and was watching Jack practice. We had predictions going and then never found out. Can you help us out please?

  32. Michael / Oct 11 2015

    Hi Kristin. That’s a younger kid on the team. He doesn’t really know Jack, but he still wants to use the bat. It’s just a sign that Jack was taking good cuts in the cage, and a reminder that everyone (younger and older, taller and shorter) is watching everyone else carefully at the start of the season, trying to figure out how they stack up on the team. That said, he’s just a minor character. I always remind myself: You can’t have major characters without minor ones or main characters without supporting ones.

  33. Robert / Mar 6 2016

    I just finished reading Plunked! Will there be a sequel? I really enjoyed it. If not can you make another sports book? I also read Trapped and that was also amazing. What other books do you write?

  34. Robert / Mar 6 2016

    Also what is Malfoy’s real name?

  35. Michael / Mar 7 2016

    Hi Robert! Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed Plunked! I would love to write another sports book. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance sometime soon. I have been a sports fan my whole life, and before I started writing books, I worked at Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. Right now I am finishing up my series TombQuest. It is built around ancient Egypt but set in modern times, so it has fewer baseball diamonds and more pyramids 🙂

  36. Michael / Mar 7 2016

    Hello again! Malfoy’s real name is Kurt Meacham. (I snuck it in on page 18!)

  37. Ethan / Jan 9 2017

    This book was so good l love baseball.

  38. Michael / Jan 9 2017

    Thanks, Ethan! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m a baseball fan too! ⚾️

  39. Ethan / Jan 9 2017

    Its the best baseball book I have ever read

  40. Michael / Jan 10 2017

    That’s awesome! I really appreciate you saying that. I had a lot of fun writing it, too!

  41. Ethan / Jan 10 2017

    well god u should make more

  42. Ethan / Jan 10 2017

    i meant well good u should make more

  43. Michael / Jan 11 2017

    I totally know what you meant—and I agree! I’d love to write another baseball book someday (hopefully soon). I just need to find the time!

  44. Ethan / Jan 11 2017

    hope you find the time soon.

Leave a Comment