Carol Baldwin's Reviews > Heat

Heat by Mike Lupica
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's review
Feb 04, 2011

really liked it

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Carol Baldwin I'm not much of a baseball fan. To be honest, it has always seemed like a fairly boring game and one that drones on without much excitement. Oops- has my honesty just alienated a baseball fan among my blog readers?

But wait. Reading Heat by Mike Lupcia changed my opinion. Before, I had no idea how much strategy went into pitches, batting orders, bunts and walks. But now I do! All because of a reader-grabbing story about a Cuban pitcher and his little league team.

I chose this book on CD figuring it would be a good book for boys. It is that for sure. But upper elementary and middle school girls will also enjoy reading about how 12-year-old Michael Arroyo, dreams of helping his team get to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. He's got the pitches, but when a rival coach challenges his age in order to block him from competing, Michael discovers what he lacks: his birth certificate to prove his eligiblity.

Michael's father died months before the story opens leaving he and his brother Carlos alone in New York City. His father's wish, conveyed to Mrs. Cora the family friend who watches over them, was that the children would not be split up and placed in foster care. Since Carlos is a few months shy of 18, this secret is the center from which this story spins out.

Several supporting characters make this story funny and appealing to boys and girls. His best friend Manny is a wise-cracking comedian and Michael's first crush, Elly, turns out to be the daughter of theYankee pitcher who is Michael's hero. In the end, Manny helps create the "happy ending" that he believes his best friend deserves.

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