A new dimension is brought to the sports genre with expertly developed characters and bold exploration of social issues.
In this companion book to Heat (2006), seventh grader Nick Garcia is the gifted pitcher for his Bronx team, the Blazers. He lives and breathes baseball and is happiest when he’s pitching strikes during the summer-league tournament. His life at home stands in stark contrast to the simple joy of the game: His family lives in constant fear of deportation to the Dominican Republic, and his older sister, Amelia, struggles with complications from lupus. Nick works hard to leave the stresses of home off the field, but it proves nearly impossible as immigration enforcement tightens its grip on his neighborhood and Amelia’s condition worsens. Readers follow Nick through each exciting championship game, feeling the sting of injury and the thrill of each thrown strike. Lupica skillfully addresses the timely and complicated topic of living as the child of undocumented immigrants and the uncertainty facing many American families. Issues and dilemmas are carefully constructed throughout the novel and mirror the real problems that many young people are experiencing today.
This exceptional baseball novel delivers both lively sports action and critical subject matter. (Fiction. 10-14)