Attack Illiteracy to Improve Graduation Rates

"When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem, it's a catastrophe," said former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Dr. Paul Mullen, the author of The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park, (ISBN 978-1-933197-30-2, Orange Frazer Press, 148 pgs., $12.95, says graduation rates are a result our illiteracy rate. "If you can't read then all learning stops, it's that simple," says Mullen.

Dr. Mullen is on a quest to combat illiteracy among the youth of America. "According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, 6 million middle and high school students can't read at basic reading levels," said Mullen. "This is a problem that we as a society can't afford to ignore."

Mullen's book was crafted specifically to address illiteracy among these children. An enjoyable read for the whole family, The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park is a coming of age story that follows the exploits of twelve year old Fuji as he pursues a chance to play a ball game on the same "sacred" ground as his idols.

"Baseball is a powerful metaphor for a strong work ethic," said Mullen. "Fuji's journey to live out his dream is one that most kids can relate to on at least some level. I think this is why they can't seem to put it down."

Dr. Mullen, who is a featured speaker at national reading conferences throughout the United States says "Young adults have turned away from reading books because we as educators and parents focus too much on the mechanics of reading. What teenagers want to read are the same type of books we once enjoyed reading at their age: Like Fuji's fun-filled, action-packed summer adventures in which this time, Fuji, an average ballplayer has that rare opportunity to become a local sports hero."

Mullen hopes Major League Baseball will get behind his efforts and use the power of influential players to encourage kids to read. "Major League Baseball's involvement could really change the attitudes of thousands of kids," says Mullen.

Dr. Mullen's inspirational message is getting national attention through Scouting Magazine and ESPN's Operation Outreach as well as interviews on nationally syndicated radio shows.

Paul Mullen has a PhD in Business Management. He and his wife Sharlene have two college-educated children and live on a small organic farm in Oxford, Ohio where they raise steer, chickens, and horses. The book is available online at: or at