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Pop Flies, Robo-Pets, and Other Disasters

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Red Chair Press/One Elm has bought world rights to Suzanne Kamata's middle grade novel Pop Flies, Robo-Pets, and Other Disasters. The novel depicts 13-year-old Satoshi Matsumoto as he learns to adjust to life in rural Japan after living in Atlanta for three years. Publication is slated for March 2020. ...more
Hardcover
Published March 2020 by Red Chair Press
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  21 reviews


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Apoorva
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have never read/listened to a novel based in Japan; never saw even a single baseball match; been a long time since I read/listened to a middle-grade work & listened to an audiobook. This one appeared to be an ideal pick to tick several of the boxes in my checklist. Let me assure you to not get tricked by the book's genre. It has its readers hooked, not only the children but grown-ups too.

For readers who have been to many nations, all would notice that it is relatable to them. Two diverse exper
...more
Christi M
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
It was winter when I was first offered this book to review and I was missing baseball. I enjoy watching youth/little league games – there is much more action (and scoring) than major league and this book was a good way to tide me over until baseball season started. But as February and then March events occurred, we now know that baseball season is delayed or will not be starting this year due to the pandemic. So, as I am missing one of my favorite sports I found this book to be the perfect read ...more
Margo Kelly
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Suzanne Kamata knocked it out of the park with her middle-grade novel, Pop Flies, Robo-Pets, and Other Disasters!

Whether you live in the United States, Japan, or elsewhere in the world, Pop Flies by Kamata allows insight into two cultures by comparing and contrasting many moments throughout the story via the lens of a middle-grade boy. Even the act of changing from outdoor shoes to indoor shoes and to bathroom slippers gives awareness to variances between the USA and Japan, often making me, and
...more
Ian Josh
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great for baseball lovers, or anyone who ever felt a little outside.

Despite being a perfectly accessible read for younger readers, this book contained a really wonderful amount of insight into japan; the culture, the people and what it's like to be a kid, there and anywhere.

Really enjoyed this, and my kids did as well, Kamata continues to show her skills here, excelling in her ability to understand being an outsider and an insider in a land that only becomes more interesting with the author as
...more
Rebecca
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, porter
My 7yr old son loves baseball, so I requested and was approved to read/listen to this book off of NetGalley. At nearly 4 hours long, we listened during breakfast and sometimes dinner. It made for fun family time and felt very organic and off-the-grid.

This middle grade novel takes place in Japan. 13 yr old Satoshi is forced to readjust to life back home after spending a few years in America. He liked his time there, where he played baseball, was considered good and had friends. Transitioning to
...more
Books on Asia
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan
Kamata deftly weaves a story of two cultures, one boy, and his dreams of baseball. Thirteen-year-old Satoshi's ability to recognize pain in others is his virtue. Various characters throughout the story need some amount of rescuing, and the young baseball star willingly steps up to the plate. He's batting for everyone, and has just the amount of equanimity to make it all come together, even in the worst of times. This story ticks all the boxes. I couldn't put it down. ...more
Shauna Holyoak
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heart-warming story about a baseball player who learns that teamwork is much more important than being the star of the team. I loved the family dynamics and depiction of life, and especially baseball, in Japan.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
ARC provided by the publisher



Satoshi Matsumoto lives in Japan, but spent several years going to school in Atlanta, Georgia, while his father was working there. It was hard enough to fit in with kids in the US, but it's even hard to fit in back at home. He goes to a private school that his grandfather founded, but since his father didn't want to run it, it is under different ownership. His grandfather is elderly and exhibiting many signs of dementia. Satoshi loves to play baseball, and his grandf
...more
Jammy
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, netgalley
Satoshi is back in Japan after living in the US and he feels like a total outcast. He's been gone a long time, he's way too good in his English class, and he worries that his disabled sister and confused grandfather will attract unwanted attention. On top of it all, there's only one spot left on the baseball team! Can he juggle his school, sports, and home life while still fitting in with his friends?

Pop Flies, Robo-Pets, and Other Disasters paints a wonderful portrait of school-age awkwardness
...more
AFIFA ALAM RAISA
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-book
A fun and relaxing story.

‘Pop Flies, Robo-Pets, and Other Disasters’ features Satoshi Matsumoto, a young Japanese boy who has recently moved back to Japan from the United States. It does not take long for him to realize that he has become a stranger to his own home, and adjustment is not going to be easy. That is when baseball appears to relieve him from a part of his struggles. Satoshi is a talented and passionate player, and despite the troubles that keep slowing him down, he is all set to ste
...more
Bruce
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was ok
Thirteen-year-old Satoshi Matsumoto is back in Japan, trying to make new friends and play baseball. We meet his parents, his elderly grandfather and his friends at school. Satoshi is typical and makes typical mistakes along the way, making him feel human. And there is baseball, and the threat that if the team doesn't impress or win something big this year, the school will give up baseball.
Well and good. The narration is excellent, the characters are 3-D, there is excitement in the field, relati
...more
Angie
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
My Review: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the following is my honest review and opinion. I am always on the lookout for baseball themed books for Munchkin and I was rather curious about this one because of the title. What I wasn't expecting from this book is all the interesting Japanese baseball history, I had no idea about many of famous baseball players of the past. The Japanese setting of this book also added a unique element to the story and I feel like it bring ...more
Laura
This is an interesting take on both a fish out of water as well as one on teamwork, that works well together.

Satoshi has returned from three years of being in Atlanta, Georgia, in the states, so, while he grew up in Japan, he is now considered an outsider. He wants to impress his old friends. He wants to be part of the team, and he doesn't want to have his sister, who is disabled, made fun of. He also needs to watch out for his grandfather, who has dementia.

Does it sound as thought that is too m
...more
Melanie Dulaney
Satoshi is of Japanese heritage but has spent the last three years in Atlanta, GA. Returning to his place of birth is a major adjustment with baseball being his common ground. Things are different with all his friends from "before," however, and Satoshi is struggling to fit in on and off the field. Readers who enjoy baseball and/or learning about other places and cultures will enjoy this one and it's relatively short length will make it approachable for even more reluctant readers in grades 4-6. ...more
Kim
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. It deals with handicaps, elderly different ethnic groups and coming back home after living in a different country. At this time especially in our lives I feel both children and adults should read this as everyone will gain something from it. Excellent way to blend it all in one book. I also love the sound affects. We don't always get them in audio books readings. ...more
Danielle
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with my 9 year old son. We enjoyed the story and the characters. I lived in Japan for a year in grad school and my son has visited too, so Japanese culture and language references were familiar to us. I don’t know they they would be for everyone. This is a unique story about culture shock, sticking out, and fitting in. Perfect for our global society!
Caroline
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Satoshi, the 13-year-old baseball player at the heart of Suzanne Kamata’s middle grade novel, is a boy to root for, and the book’s frank approach to big topics like bullying, racism, and disability is a breath of fresh air.⁣
Brenda
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good story. I liked the characters and rooted for Satoshi to be accepted back to his school and that baseball would be what he needed. I thought there was a great lesson to be learned in this book, but it didn't hit you over the head. ...more
Brett Hardy
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, and interesting insights into Japanese family life and the importance of baseball. Highly recommended.
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Five-time Pushcart Prize nominee Suzanne Kamata is the author of the memoir Squeaky Wheels: Travels with My Daughter by Train, Plane, Metro, Tuk-tuk and Wheelchair (Wyatt-Mackenzie, 2019); the novels Indigo Girl (GemmaMedia, 2019), The Mermaids of Lake Michigan (Wyatt-Mackenzie, 2017), Screaming Divas (Merit Press, 2014), Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible (GemmaMedia, 2013) and Losing Kei (L ...more

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