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The Contract

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About The Book

The debut book in the New York Times bestselling Contract series, The Contract is a middle grade baseball novel inspired by the youth of legendary sports icon and role model Derek Jeter.

As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot. And to help him stay focused on school, his parents make him a contract: keep up the grades or no baseball. Derek makes sure he always plays his best game—on and off the baseball field!

Derek Jeter has played Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees for twenty seasons and is a five-time World Series Champion. He is a true legend in professional sports and a role model for young people both on the field and through his Turn 2 Foundation.

Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, The Contract is the first book in Derek Jeter’s middle grade baseball series, an important part of the Jeter Publishing program, which will encompass adult nonfiction titles, children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, Ready-to-Read children’s books, and children’s nonfiction. For more about Jeter Publishing visit

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for

The Contract
By Derek Jeter
With Paul Mantell

Discussion Questions from Jeter’s Leaders

Chapter 2
• Derek has a very strong supporting cast of family members who support his dreams. Who do you already have in your supporting cast and how do they support you? What do you need in a strong supporting cast?

Chapter 3
• What would you do if your parents made you a contract for your future?
• What future plans do you have that would make you want to fully commit to a contract?
• When you’re not at your best, how do you bounce back and accomplish your goals to be better than you were?

Chapter 5
• How does Derek cope with the favoritism shown to Pete? Would you cope in the same way? Why or why not?
• Instead of studying, Derek’s mind constantly drifts to baseball. What are the distractions that keep you from doing what you need to do?

Chapter 7
• Derek continues to play games with his dad despite his constant failure. Why is this important?

Chapter 8
• Mr. and Mrs. Jeter had to deal with a world that wasn’t very welcoming to interracial couples. What kind of unfair situations have you dealt with in your life?

Chapter 10
• Would Ms. Wagner be part of Derek’s supporting cast? Why or why not?

Chapter 11
• Once when Vijay was getting picked on, Derek told Vijay that Pete was being a jerk and helped him through the situation. What situation did Derek’s mom help him through when he was getting picked on? How do you feel about the way she helped him?

Chapter 12
• Does Pete succeed in bringing down Derek’s confidence? Why or why not?
• How would you react to someone like Pete?

Chapter 13
• Why does Derek continue to play games with his dad despite constantly losing? Why is this important?

Chapter 14
• Why does Derek realize that he shouldn’t be too disappointed about Pete winning MVP of the Tigers?
• How is Derek a leader to his Westwood Little League teammates?

The Publisher gratefully acknowledges the help of Jeter’s Leaders and the Turn 2 Foundation in creating this guide. Please find more information about the Turn 2 Foundation and Jeter’s Leaders at

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

About The Author

Maureen Cavanagh/Jeter Publishing

Derek Jeter is a fourteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series winner who has played for one team—the storied New York Yankees—for all twenty seasons of his major league career. His grace and class on and off the field have made him an icon and role model far beyond the world of baseball.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (September 23, 2014)
  • Length: 176 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481423144
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Awards and Honors

  • Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • MSTA Reading Circle List
  • Michigan Notable Books List

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