Young Gabe Plumber, named after the archangel Gabriel, is a work in progress, and there's not much progress. He's strikeout king of the planet, pleasing the opposing pitchers but displeasing his father, a retired player and walking baseball encyclopedia. The boy, he fears, might never make contact.
Gabe's mother is another problem. She's convinced end times are near and she'll be raptured off to Heaven, leaving Gabe with his sister, father and baseball. His mother is also convinced, with good reason, that Gabe's soul is in danger and he'll never be saved. The dangers lurk everywhere. The neighbors. The park and his friends. Even the church.
Gabe desperately needs to be saved, but how? He scandalizes himself and his family with his activities in and out of home and church. There seems to be no hope for Gabe's soul and even less for his batting average.
The End of the World and Other Problems gently captures the life of a young boy caught between two mildly obsessive and eccentric parents and a bookish sister as he tries to survive a summer in the small town of Bored, Oregon.