A transgender boy steps up to the plate to help his baseball team beat their rivals in the summer playoffs.
Caz Cadman, baseball ace, moves from Toronto to Redburn, Washington, with his family for a fresh start as a boy. He knows who he is, and now, with the support of his parents, he can be himself in a place where no one knows his history. Summer baseball tryouts place him on the Ravens, a team with a fierce rivalry with the Rockets. At first, Caz worries his teammates won’t take the game as seriously as he does, but they quickly band together and learn to play as a smart, fast, and tricky unit (just as ravens do). While the baseball story succeeds, the trans representation struggles. Amid conflict with the bullies on the Rockets, Caz holds onto concerns about what his new friends will think if they find out the truth about his past. While Caz’s parents accept him, his entire baseball team back in Toronto had turned against him, and during the climax, Caz is publicly outed before he’s ready. In seeking answers about himself, Caz turns to the internet, and the articles he finds fall back on the tired born-in-the-wrong-body narrative. Overall, the story lacks pride in identity and reinforces trope-y associations of secrecy and shame with trans people. It assumes a white default.
An engaging sports story but not a home run for transgender representation. (Fiction. 8-12)