Jacob makes a very difficult decision about his participation in his Little League team’s championship game.
Jacob plays second base for the Lions and has never missed a game. He is dedicated to his team and takes his coach’s philosophy of team spirit to heart. But the big game is to be played on Yom Kippur, the most holy day of the Jewish year. It is a day of fasting for adults, and the family will pray in the synagogue for the whole day. Jacob grapples with his problem for days and even brings his uniform to the synagogue. He prays for his family and friends and other, less spiritual things. He hears the rabbi speak of humanity’s interconnectedness and of the power of prayer and commitment. Although he heads for the game, he changes his mind and returns. Jacob narrates his own story in the immediate present tense, maintaining the suspense throughout. Jacob will appeal to young readers for his earnest and heartfelt solution to his problems. Ceolin’s softly hued illustrations depict a truly diverse community. Jacob’s family is dark-haired with pale skin, while the team has boys and girls of many colors. Even the Jewish congregation is a mixture from fair- to brown-skinned. Adler’s concluding note is a sweet homage to Jewish ballplayers who have had to make the same decision.
Uplifting. (Picture book. 5-9)