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Author: Lupica, Mike
Twelve-year-old Nick Garcia dreams of winning MVP of his summer baseball league, of finding a cure for his sister, of meeting his hero, Yankee pitcher Michael Arroyo, and of no longer living in fear of the government and ICE agents.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 504238
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/19)
School Library Journal (08/16/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/16/2019 Gr 4–7-Nick Garcia hopes to be as good a pitcher as his idol, New York Yankees ace Michael Arroyo (whom readers may recognize from Mike Lupica's Heat), but first he has to get his team to the Dream League tournament. If they win, he gets to throw the first pitch at a Yankees game. However, Nick has much more on his mind than baseball; his sister has lupus and his family lives in constant fear of ICE discovering his parents' undocumented status. In this timely tale, Lupica has written a story that is extremely relevant to today's political climate, highlighting how immigrants feel under today's administration and the reality of ICE raids. As always, Lupica's action sequences are thrilling and fast-paced. He has gotten the voices and calls of radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman down pat—readers will feel like they're listening to the game on their local WFAN affiliate. Short chapters encourage quick reading for reluctant readers while swiftly moving the plot along; readers will most likely realize how the baseball plot will play out, so the real anticipation comes from waiting for ICE to show up for Nick's father. When they finally do, it packs a serious emotional punch to the gut of the reader. Fair warning—Lupica takes a hard political stance against the current administration without naming names. VERDICT Baseball acts as the backdrop to tell the story of life as an immigrant in modern day America. Solid purchase where Mike Lupica and the Yankees are popular.-Kerri Williams, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2019 More than a decade ago, Michael Arroyo was a Little League phenom in the Bronx (Heat, 2006); now he’s an all-star pitcher for the Yankees. Phenoms from the Bronx keep coming, though, and they have dreams of their own. Twelve-year-old pitcher Nick Garcia, like Arroyo before him, dreams of taking his team to the league championship, and if he’s named Most Valuable Player, of throwing out the first pitch at a Yankees game and meeting his hero, Arroyo himself. Nick has plenty of confidence in his fastball mowing down opposing teams’ hitters, but the obstacles he faces off the diamond are more daunting: his parents, immigrants from the Dominican Republic, are undocumented, and his father has a police record, thanks to a trivial infraction years ago. When Nick witnesses an ICE raid on his block, he knows that his family may be playing on borrowed time. As he did in Heat, Lupica skillfully juggles the baseball drama with the larger social issues that swirl around it, vividly putting a human face on the immigration crisis. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.