The Rule of Three

(Carolrhoda Books/Lerner August 2024)

When the rules no longer apply, how do you keep your head in the game?

Wyatt has a three-part Plan for Life, and it starts now, at the beginning of seventh grade, with tryouts for his local travel baseball team. A multi racial kid in a mostly white town, he’s always felt like a bit of an outsider. The baseball field is the only place where he feels like he truly belongs. If he can just make the team, everything else will fall into place: school, friends, even his relationship with his often-distant dad.

But after upsetting incidents at tryouts, something inexplicable happens: wisps of smoke form around Wyatt.

As Wyatt tries to figure out what’s causing this mysterious smoke and how to control it, he discovers it’s connected to a painful family history. The more he learns, the more Wyatt begins to question the rules he’s always followed to fit in. With tensions rising at school and on the field, can he face the injustices of the past while keeping his cool in the present?


Publisher’s Weekly calls THE RULE OF THREE a “noteworthy novel …”

“Capps incorporates real-life events—as discussed in an author’s note—to tell an illuminating tale that utilizes a physical manifestation of trauma to effectively demonstrate the compounding results of racism across generations.”

–Publisher’s Weekly

Booklist calls THE RULE OF THREE “…authentic and nuanced…”

” … will resonate with middle-grade readers who see the injustices around them and struggle to control their own emotions. A good SEL angle within a prose novel featuring social justice and sports appeal for readers who enjoy Mike Lupica, Kwame Mbalia, and B.B. Alston.”


“Heather Murphy Capps has written another powerful, well-researched, insightful book, and Wyatt’s authentic voice shines through as a hero you can’t help but cheer on.”―Isi Hendrix, Author of Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans

Special preorder bonus:

Custom-designed character art on custom-designed baseball trading cards featuring the four major players in The Rule of Three. Plus–each card has stats on the back!

Preorder now and receive all four cards plus a smoky baseball sticker along with your signed copy of The Rule of Three.

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