Thursday, March 16, 2006

Free Baseball

Free Baseball
by Sue Corbett, 2005

Felix Piloto misses his dad so much. He thinks about his dad all the time. He feels close to his father when he is playing baseball. Felix and his mother are refugees from Cuba. His father, a famous baseball player for the Cuban national team, did not escape with them to the U.S.

Living in Florida, Felix's mami is working long hours at a computer company help desk and going to school. Felix is alone a great deal of the time. His mom does not have time to come to his baseball games or even take him to the hometown team's season opener when he wins free tickets. He is so anxious to go to the game that he agrees to the supervision of a loathsome teenage babysitter whose goonish boyfriends pick on Felix all night. When the game is over, he gets to go down on the field and run the bases. Curiosity leads him into the visiting team's dugout where he is mistaken for their new batboy. Felix seizes this opportunity to make a change in his life and stows away on the team bus.

This is such a warm-hearted story. The reader aches for Felix and his mom. As he finds acceptance and happiness with the team, he must reconcile with his mother and learn the real story about his family and his father.

I loved this book. It will have huge appeal to elementary and jr. high readers. Your heart does not have to thrill to baseball to enjoy this beautiful story but if you are a fan, you will enjoy it even more.

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