A warm, sensitive, realistic portrait of a Muslim boy adjusting to contemporary America.

A LONG PITCH HOME

When his family moves from Pakistan to America, a Muslim boy who loves cricket faces a year of adjustment and life without his father.

Just before his 10th birthday, Bilal moves from Karachi to Virginia with his mother and younger siblings to live with extended family until his father, Baba, can join them. When his cousin enrolls him in summer baseball camp because baseball’s “America’s version of cricket,” Bilal’s days are filled with endless “sames and differents.” A champion cricket player in Karachi, Bilal knows he’s the worst baseball player on a team where the best player’s a girl named Jordan. As the year passes, Bilal improves at baseball, completes ESL classes, and gradually assimilates into school while desperately waiting for Baba. When Bilal learns Jordan’s father’s deployed to Afghanistan, they bond, despite resentment from male teammates. In a thoughtful, honest narration, Bilal describes his confusion over English words and American customs, fears of rejection, emerging friendships, growing prowess as a pitcher, acceptance by team members, and constant longing for Baba. As she did in Flying the Dragon (2012), Lorenzi sympathetically captures the challenges of cultural relocation.

A warm, sensitive, realistic portrait of a Muslim boy adjusting to contemporary America. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58089-713-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and...

SYLVIA & AKI

Two third-grade girls in California suffer the dehumanizing effects of racial segregation after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1942 in this moving story based on true events in the lives of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu.

Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and dispatched to an internment camp in Poston, Ariz., for the duration of World War II. As Aki endures the humiliation and deprivation of the hot, cramped barracks, she wonders if there’s “something wrong with being Japanese.” Sylvia’s Mexican-American family leases the Munemitsu farm. She expects to attend the local school but faces disappointment when authorities assign her to a separate, second-rate school for Mexican kids. In response, Sylvia’s father brings a legal action against the school district arguing against segregation in what eventually becomes a successful landmark case. Their lives intersect after Sylvia finds Aki’s doll, meets her in Poston and sends her letters. Working with material from interviews, Conkling alternates between Aki and Sylvia’s stories, telling them in the third person from the war’s start in 1942 through its end in 1945, with an epilogue updating Sylvia’s story to 1955.

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-337-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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