ON HOME GROUND by Alan Lelchuk


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A brief story about a Brooklyn boy caught between the New World and the Old. Nine-year-old Aaron Schlossberg is madly devoted to the Brooklyn Dodgers and their new hero, Jackie Robinson, His harsh, demanding father, Herschel, has not adapted well to life in this country, and the two clash--most notably when Aaron leaves school early to go to Ebbets Field and get Robinson's autograph. Aaron feels that he has more in common with his easygoing, affectionate friend Butt, a pilot wounded in the WW II, than with Herschel, whose socialist views make him a neighborhood curiosity and whose White Russian homeland seem remote. On vacation in the Catskills, Aaron learns that his father has a previously unsuspected skill with horses, leading him to wonder if there isn't more to the man than he thought. Lelchuk's plot is sketchy and episodic, like chapters from a longer memoir; his characters, especially Burt and Aaron, seem more types than living people. For a more positive view of the immigrant experience, with a similar setting, read Lord's In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1987
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich