Review: John Grisham’s Calico Joe



Living in St. Louis, there’s nothing bigger than the St. Louis Cardinals. I was raised to be a ¬†Cardinals fans and a baseball fan. Combine baseball with John Grisham, who is my favorite author and I knew I was going to love his new book Calico Joe.

Calico Joe follows the story of a young boy named Paul Tracey who lives and breathes baseball. In the summer of 1973, his idol is Joe Castle who is also known as Calico Joe. This young rookie is called up to play with the Chicago Cubs and impresses everyone with incredible stats. Finally, the Chicago Cubs have hope!

Paul’s father, a relief pitcher for the New York Mets, isn’t a good father, husband or pitcher. In a match-up of Warren Tracey vs. Calico Joe, Tracey ends Calico Joe’s career forever breaking the hearts of baseball fans all over and also his son’s.

As an adult, Paul goes on a journey to sort out the event that changed the lives of so many people: Paul’s, Warren’s and Calico Joe’s.


My Thoughts

As I said earlier, I’m a huge fan of both John Grisham and baseball, so I knew going in that I would love this book. If you’re not a baseball fan, don’t let this stop you from reading the book. While there are many details and baseball stats, the true story is the relationship between a father and a son.

Grisham is a master storyteller as always, making sure that the reader develops a strong connection with the characters. From the start, I felt that bond with Paul Tracey; first as a young boy and then an adult. The book is told in his point of view, so we are getting his outlook on the Calico Joe phenomenon and his father.

The book is a quick read and I only wish it was a little bit longer, but I think the story was able to be told in the 208 pages.

Calico Joe is perfect for celebrating the upcoming MLB Opening Day and also Father’s Day.


Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of the above product. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Momof4 says

    It’s always the sign of a good book when it leaves you wanting more! Love John Grisham and love that he branches out from his lawyer knowledge (although, those books are great too!).

  2. mary-an s. pareja says

    i really loved reading his book.. all of them are only gift from my friends.. cause they know i do loved reading books…i’ve collected it sence 2000..

  3. Harold Kasselman says

    If you would like to imagine what would happen today if a MLB pitcher fatally beaned a batter, read A Pitch for Justice which examines the unwritten code of retaliation upon a rookie pitcher for the Phillies. He is prosecuted for murder and a national debate erupts over the inherent risks of the game and the mores of society.

    Please read the above review by a Tampa Tribune sports writer.

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