Synopses & Reviews
Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat. But his firepower is nothing compared to the heat Michael faces in his day-to-day life. Newly orphaned after his father led the family’s escape from Cuba, Michael’s only family is his seventeen-year-old brother Carlos. If Social Services hears of their situation, they will be separated in the foster-care system—or worse, sent back to Cuba. Together, the boys carry on alone, dodging bills and anyone who asks too many questions. But then someone wonders how a twelve-year-old boy could possibly throw with as much power as Michael Arroyo throws. With no way to prove his age, no birth certificate, and no parent to fight for his cause, Michael’s secret world is blown wide open, and he discovers that family can come from the most unexpected sources.
“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.”—Booklist, starred review
"As readers go, Andino seems to have it all, as heard in his sharp performance of Lupica's (Traveling Team) latest baseball tale. The story centers on two Cuban brothers living in New York and trying to avoid being sent to foster care, or even back to Cuba, after their father dies. Michael Arroyo is the star of his Bronx Little League team, but he is benched when he is accused of being older than 12. With no father to help and his birth certificate lost in Cuba, Michael is at a loss for what to do. It doesn't help that both boys have inadvertently drawn the attention of the police (Michael for helping apprehend a crook, and his older brother Carlos for working for him). Andino has his work cut out for him: Dominican, Cuban, old, young, male, female he is totally convincing as every character. Particularly fun is the thespian uncle Timo of Michael's friend Manny; the boys talk Timo into playing 'Papi' when they are visited by the officials. His transformation from surfer-dude to middle-aged Cuban refugee is as enjoyable as it is impressive. Ages 10-up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
13-year-old Cuban American Michael Arroyo has a dream: to lead his South Bronx team to the Little League World Series. Poised for victory, the All-Stars are ready to take on their bitter suburban rivals. However, with the recent tragic death of his father, Michael is unable to produce a birth certificate when rumors arise in the league that he is older than he appears. Full of passion, determination, and humor, with a thrilling finale in Yankee Stadium, Heat is a hit for baseball fans of all ages.
Michael Arroyo grows up in the shadows of hallowed Yankee Stadium, a boy forever on the outside looking in. His only chance to see his field of dreams? Pitch his Bronx all-star team to the district finals and a shot at the Little League World Series.
But there is a problem. Michael is good-too good. Rival coaches and players cant believe a boy could be this good and be only twelve years old. And Michael has no way to prove it-no mother, no father, and a birth certificate that is stuck home in his native Cuba. If the people from social services find out his secret, he will have an even worse problem: being separated from the only family he knows, his older brother Carlos. Baseball can be a game of heroes, of champions who refuse to lose. Or it can be a field of crushed dreams. For one boy, the game is about to turn serious.
About the Author
Mike Lupica is the author of many novels for sports fans, most notably the #1 bestselling Travel Team, his first novel for young readers. His columns for New York's DailyNews are syndicated nationally, and he is a regular on ESPN's The Sports Reporters. Mr. Lupica lives in Connecticut with his wife and their four children.