Synopses & Reviews
My name is Julio Ramirez Jr. and baseball is my whole life.
Since he was ten, Julio has lived in the shadow of his famous father. Not just because Julio Senior is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins, but because he fled Cuba to play professional baseball, leaving his Julio and his mother and sister branded as the family of a traitor.
Now sixteen, Julio dreams of playing for Cubas national teamuntil he finds out his father's defection may destroy his chances. When hes given the opportunity to flee Cuba, he has to make the toughest choice of his life. Can he abandon his family, just like his Papi did? Will freedom be worth the perilous journey and risking prison if hes caught? Will his Papi be waiting for him on the other shoreor, with the Marlins in the World Series against the Yankees, has Julio Senior forgotten about his son?
Set against the backdrop of the Series on which everything depends, Game Seven is a suspenseful story of loyalty, survival, and baseball.
Praise for Game Seven:
"An entertaining tale of baseball, family and loyalty." —Kirkus
Praise for The Final Four by Paul Volponi:
“A triple-overtime game keeps readers on the edge of their seats.” —BCCB, starred review “This gritty, realistic, and riveting novel deserves the wide audience it will no doubt attract.” —School Library Journal, starred review “Volponi nails it when it counts in this dynamic story.” —Booklist, starred review "Volponi, a multiple award-winning author, keeps the tension high from the first to last page ... The Final Four is definitely a winner." —VOYA, starred review
"Volponi's latest combines in-the-moment action, basketball history and the points of view of four college ballplayers with very different lives ... No story or character is simple." —Kirkus Reviews "The Final Four does a terrific job of capturing the emotion of March Madness.” —Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach, Men's Basketball, Duke University “This is a great story about how one sport can transcend different experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs, and unite in a desire to succeed.” —Jim Calhoun, Head Coach, Men's Basketball, University of Connecticut (2010 National Champions) “It was inspirational to a coach and full of lessons to children of many ages.” —Jamie Dixon, Head Coach, Men's Basketball, University of Pittsburgh “A rocket ride of a plot that rips you into the story from the first line.” —Paul Griffin, author of Stay With Me “Paul Volponi delivers a high-octane basketball story fans will cheer for.” —Tim Green, author of Deep Zone, a Football Genius novel
DANNYS TALL AND skinny. Even though hes not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. A 95 mph fastball, but the boys not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.
But at his private school, they dont expect much else from him. Dannys brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he cant speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, theyve got him pegged. Dannys convinced its his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. And thats why hes spending the summer with his dads family. Only, to find himself, he might just have to face the demons he refuses to see right in front of his face.
Danny throws a mean 95 mph fastball, but the boy's not even on a team. Danny's private school doesn't expect much from him because he's half-Mexican. While spending the summer with his dad's Mexican family, Danny may have to face the demons he refuses to see before he can find himself.
About the Author
Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.
But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.
That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. Only, to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see--the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.
Set in the alleys and on the ball fields of San Diego County, Mexican Whiteboy is a story of friendship, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions.
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"[A] first-rate exploration of self-identity."-School Library Journal
"Unique in its gritty realism and honest portrayal of the complexities of life for inner-city teens...De la Peña poignantly conveys the message that, despite obstacles, you must believe in yourself and shape your own future."-The Horn Book Magazine
"The baseball scenes...sizzle like Danny's fastball...Danny's struggle to find his place will speak strongly to all teens, but especially to those of mixed race."-Booklist
"De la Peña blends sports and street together in a satisfying search for personal identity."-Kirkus Reviews
"Deftly explores the subject of interracial mixing."-Multicultural Review
"Matt de la Pena has done the impossible; fired a perfect fastball on the low inside corner and hit a towering home run at the same time. A tough, funny, edgy, hopeful story about friendship under fire and love in its true sense."-Chris Crutcher, author of Deadline and Whale Talk
"Mexican Whiteboy...shows that no matter what obstacles you face, you can still reach your dreams with a positive attitude. This is more than a book about a baseball player--this is a book about life."-Curtis Granderson, New York Mets outfielder