In a stunning turn of events, this is the second book I’ve read with this title this year. The first, Ed McBain’s Heat, I read in January. The two are not too similar, even though Lupica dabbles in some crime fiction. Because, in a stunning turn of events, this is the second Young Adult novel I’ve read in a couple weeks. Crikey, I must be into my second childhood. What’s with adult authors trying to jump into the YA market? It makes for some confusing times at the book fairs. Is this Hiaasen an adult book, or a green-preaching YA novel? Is this Lupica book one of his adult plots turned into simpler sentences and shrunken to 12-year-olds? What, pray tell, does Robert B. Parker write for young adult fiction–embrace an arbitrary “code” of relativistic, touchy-feely ethics and bone your neighbor’s wife which is okay if it feels good and you don’t feel guilty?
At any rate, this book deals with a 12-year-old Little League superstar pitcher from Cuba whose father has died, but whose 17-year-old brother is working two jobs as they keep the death quiet so they don’t get turned over to family services and split up. Additionally, the kid’s eligibilty is challenged since his birth certificate didn’t make the boat ride from Cuba. It’s a very complicated story, and it works out with an almost deus ex maquina thing, but it’s all right.
For a kid’s book.