The Million Dollar Putt, by Dan Gutman;
Hyperion Press: New York, 2006; $15.99
If you happen to be walking along the shelves in the library and it’s a rainy afternoon and you’re looking for a short but enchanting story, then The Million Dollar Putt, by Dan Gutman, is for you. Dan Gutman has made the life of a blind kid realistic, not to the point that you’re bewildered but to the point where you’re fascinated and curious, not ever wanting to put the book down. The Million Dollar Putt pulls you into an adventure with your heart drumming with golf, a blind kid, a girl, and a million dollar tournament.
Ed Bogard, known as Bogie, is just any other kid. From his perspective, he thinks he could do anything a sighted kid could—apart from driving. Being blind doesn’t bother him because he could bike, parasail, and play guitar. So when he discovers that he could play golf like a pro, he’s stunned and excited. However, he realizes that golf is a team sport, and being blind means that he couldn’t put the ball on the tee, or set himself up. So what does he do? He finds Birdie, a mysterious girl who has been watching him for over a year since she first moved in. Birdie doesn’t know anything about golf, doesn’t know how to ride a bike or play guitar. But with her charm and her childish yet stunning personality, she becomes Bogie’s coach. In a blink of an eye, someone signs Bogie up for a golf tournament. It could’ve been any tournament, but it’s not because the prize is a million dollars! Can a blind kid and a girl who can’t ride a bike win these million dollars?
Not many people have I come across who know this book, but I think this is a book totally worth reading. Dan Gutman writes fabulous books, and I’ve read almost all of them. Despite the sad touch to this story, not once have I pitied Ed in this book. He is a unique and original boy with his own opinions on life, even though he can’t see and he constantly gets made fun of and pranked on. I’ve never played golf in my life, but Ed makes it sound so easy, it makes me wonder if I should try. This book really encourages you to try new things and think in a way you’ve never thought before. After I read this book, I turned out the lights and imagined being blind, and I realized how hard it must’ve been for Ed, and how much of a strong-willed boy he is.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes a bittersweet novel with a touch of humor and sadness. It doesn’t matter how old you are, this novel will still bring out the best in you, and all your other emotions.