Tuesday, July 27, 2010


by Mike Lupica
Ages- 12+

Micheal Arroyo has pitched is Bronx-All Star team to the District Finals and has a shot at the Little League World Series. Michael is good, maybe too good and it creates problems. Rival coaches and players can't believe Michael is only twelve years old. He also has no way to prove it because he has no mother, no father, and his birth certificate is in Cuba. If social services finds out his secret, he will create more problems: being separated from his older brother Carlos. In baseball games, you have winners (with champion hearts) or losers (crushed dreams). For Michael, life and baseball have collided.

Lupica uses sports as metaphor for life. If you like sports, like me, you will enjoy reading this book. Something about Lupica's writing style allow me to connect to Michael. He is only 12 years old and he has to carry a big secret. He deals with the fear of the unknown and whom to trust.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Tiger Rising

by Kate DiCamillo

Rob Horton, 12 years old, recently moved with his father to a seedy motel in Lister, Florda. Following his mother's death, Rob has shut his feeling in a big "suitcase." He vowed nothing would make him cry again, including the bullies at his new school and the weird rash on his legs. Two amazing things happen to Rob, he discovers a real-life tiger in a cage near the motel where he lives and meets Sistine Bailey. Sistine is feisty girl, who doesn't hold back her feelings. They learn to trust each other and become friends. They show that some things like memories, heartaches, and tigers are not meant to be locked up forever.

Kate DiCamillo has become one of my favorite authors. I found myself hurting for Rob and hoping that he would be able to deal with his mother death and gain a better relationship with his father. Death of a loved one is a difficult subject and again, Kate is able to write about dealing with that loss. Sistine and Rob are dealing with changes, loss, and growing up, but found friendship in their growth to understanding the world.