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4.6 out of 5 stars 212 ratings

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Length: 236 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 6--9. Michael Arroyo is a 13-year-old Cuban American who lives in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Yes, he is a Little League ballplayer, and, yes, he has a dream: to pitch in the Little League World Series. To do so, his South Bronx All-Stars will need to beat the best the greater New York area has to offer in the regional championship, to be played in--you guessed it--Yankee Stadium. This setup sounds like yet another Rocky meets Bad News Bears tearjerker: the immigrants from the Bronx take on the white-bread rich kids from the suburbs. It is that (with some notable twists), but it's much more, too. Michael and his brother, 17-year-old Carlos, have a problem: their beloved father is dead, and the boys are hoping to avoid a foster home by pretending Papi is visiting a sick relative in Miami. Lupica wrings plenty of genuine emotion from the melodramatic frame story, but he sidesteps the slough of social significance by building characters who speak for themselves, not the author, and by enlivening the story with a teen version of street humor. The dialogue crackles, and the rich cast of supporting characters--especially Michael's battery mate, catcher and raconteur Manny--nearly steals the show. Top-notch entertainment in the Carl Hiaasen mold. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Growing up in the Bronx and playing Little League baseball in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, it's no surprise that 12-year-old Michael Arroyo loves baseball, especially the New York Yankees, even though he can't afford to buy a ticket to watch them play. Michael's the best Little League pitcher in the district, and seems destined to lead his all-star team to the championship game, which will be held inside Yankee Stadium, with a trip to the Little League World Series on the line. But all that changes when a jealous rival coach challenges whether Michael is as young as he claims in this novel by Mike Lupica (Philomel, 2006). Placed on the sidelines, Michael desperately tries to find a way to get his birth certificate from Cuba while at the same time keeping social services from finding out that he and his older brother are living on their own following the recent death of their beloved papi. Michael needs all the help he can get from his best friend Manny and from a beautiful, mysterious girl he meets at the baseball field. Although the story moves slowly in a few spots, Paolo Andino's excellent narration will make listeners pull for Michael and his teammates. As good as the baseball games are, though, the best part of the book is when Manny's actor uncle impersonates Michael's father in an attempt to get the social services worker out of their hair. A sure hit with baseball fans.–David Bilmes, Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2019
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