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The Way Home Looks Now

by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Published by Scholastic Press, 2015
250 pages
ISBN: 978𢠧45609562

Ages 8-11

Peter抯 Taiwanese American family is struggling since the death of his older brother, Nelson. Peter, Nelson, and their mother shared a love of baseball, so Peter tries out for a team in hopes it will spark his mother抯 interest, since she抯 so sad she rarely leaves the couch. But it抯 Ba who gets involved, volunteering to coach Peter抯 team. Angry that his father, who argued with Nelson about the Vietnam War, can抰 make things at home better, Peter is now embarrassed by him as a coach. But turns out Ba has been paying attention to baseball梙e even played as a boy梐nd to what抯 happening at home more than Peter knew. A novel grounded in the perspective of a child in a family working through grief also succeeds as an accessible, engaging sports story, one that addresses changing social norms in the 1970s.When one of the team抯 best players, Aaron, turns out to be Erin梐 girl梡arents threaten to pull their sons from the team. Ba leaves it up to the kids to decide if she should stay. Meanwhile, there are moments when Peter抯 mother shows a spark, but baseball is not a magic cure. Time, says Ba. Nuanced characters, including Peter抯 mother and Nelson, both developed in flashbacks, are among the story抯 many strengths. (MS) 2015 Cooperative Children抯 Book Center

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