Soar by Joan Bauer

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2meh6h7BaE

 

Summary:  Jeremiah has been through more than his share of difficulties, starting when he was abandoned by his mother at the age of nine months and continuing through a series of heart problems that ultimately resulted in a transplant.  Lucky for him, his mother left him in an office building where he was discovered by nerdy but loving Walter, who adopted him and has been by his side ever since.  Jeremiah’s greatest love is baseball, but his heart hasn’t gotten healthy enough for him to play.  When Walter and Jeremiah move to Hillcrest, Ohio, they look forward to cheering on the town’s championship baseball team.  Within days of their arrival, though, scandal has swept through the town, shutting down the team.  When Jeremiah discovers a few kids at his middle school who still love to play, he gets the idea to become their coach.  Step by inching step, the kids work together to build a middle school team and to repair the damage done to Hillcrest.  With Jeremiah leading them on, the Hillcrest Eagles prove there’s more than one way to have a winning team, and that talent isn’t nearly as important as heart.  304 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  “You’re weird…but I like you,” says one of Jeremiah’s teammates, perfectly capturing Jeremiah’s voice as he narrates this story.  Quirky, humorous, and refusing to be kept down, Jeremiah gives the people of Hillcrest and the readers of Soar plenty to cheer about.

Cons:  Occasionally Jeremiah seems a bit unbelievably wise and mature for a sixth-grader.

 

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