Twin 14-year-olds write "It Isn't Just a Game"

April 5, 2010 9:38:31 AM PDT
The White Sox will play their home opener this afternoon against the Cleveland Indians. Imagine if Sox fans could control the outcome of this game or and others for the rest of the season!

(RELEASE) That's the premise of a new book written by 14-year-old twins Owen and Dustin Schoenfeld of Glencoe. It Isn't Just a Game reveals what happens when a video game becomes so much more than just a game.

The twins' best-seller tells the story of Alex and Corey, who had a great setup. One would watch the White Sox game on TV, while the other would play as the White Sox in the latest sports videogame. It worked out great for the first outs, as the videogame's strikeouts matched those of the real players. However, when the game stays mysteriously tied to the events of the actual game, Alex and Corey begin to wonder if it's more than coincidence. Imaginations run wild as they plan their summer around the game-they're on a winning streak and they can't afford for the Sox to lose!

Together, as twins and best friends, Owen and Dustin split their time living in the Chicago suburbs and in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate, NY. Writing their first novel about the Chicago White Sox was a natural for them. The Schoenfeld Family has held season tickets since 1991 and Owen and Dustin went to their first game at four months old in April, 1996.

They began writing It Isn't Just A Game in 2007, as sixth graders at Central School in Glencoe. During the summer of 2008, they received the great news that their work would be published while Owen was playing ball for Glencoe's Blue Thunder at Dreams Park in Cooperstown, NY. Owen and Dustin had the unique experience of juggling seventh-grade school work and meetings with editors, illustrators, and designers for their book. After two years of dedication, It Isn't Just A Game, was released last December; the book shot to #3 on Amazon's Best Selling Sports Fiction List and it stayed in the Top 100 for weeks.

Dustin and Owen They have been writing short stories and essays for the past few years until writing their first chapter book at the age of thirteen. Owen loves writing, drawing, and playing catch with anyone who will toss him pop ups. Dustin loves writing, inventing, and catching foul balls at U.S Cellular. He has a collection of at least 20! Besides baseball, they are also interested in art and music, and baseball. Dustin and Owen plan to write more books and continue to focus on the arts. The boys hope their accomplishment will inspire young readers and writers to get in the game of making their own dreams come true.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available at bookstores nationwide, or online at,, and This is also an eLIVE title, meaning each book contains a code redeemable for a free audio version from


In the bottom of the ninth, Alex hit a single. He was off to a good start. He flew out though in his next at bat. Then, a walk put runners on first and second. Immediately, a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Alex worked the count to two balls and two strikes. Then crack, the ball sliced down the line. It hit the wall, and Alex moved to second, then to third and just as the ball was coming in from the outfield, Alex pressed X and slid into third.

"Out!" the umpire called.

Without Alex pressing anything on the controller, Ozzie Guillen came out of the dug out and began to argue. In his perspective, being down by one run with a man on third and one out was better than being down by one run with no one on and two outs. With a close play like this, Ozzie was going to make his point even if he got tossed. He was arguing even more now.

"Mute it!" Corey yelped.

Alex took the clicker and did so. Instantly Ozzie Guillen did something amazing, his voice went quiet, and he stopped arguing.

"It worked, Corey, it worked!" Alex said with disbelief.

Corey just stared as Ozzie Guillen walked back to the dug out. Now they were down by one run with no one on third, but at least Ozzie Guillen was still in the game. Alex had one shot at winning. He hit a single. Then he stole second. With two strikes, Alex blasted one down the line. The runner scored, and Alex had won the game with a walk-off single.

"Nice, Alex," Corey said. "Thanks."

"The Ozzie thing was pretty cool. I didn't know we could do that," Alex said. "Who would ever believe we could do any of this!" Corey exclaimed.