My third grade son LOVES baseball and he tore through this book in a few nights. So, I decided to read it based on his recommendation with the idea that it would be another "baseball" book. Yes, Heat is about a 12 year old boy and his local baseball team, but this book encompasses more than baseball. The main character, Michael Arroyo is an immigrant from Havana and he and his older brother Carlos are living by themselves in the Bronx after the unexpected death of their father. Carlos is not yet 18 years old, so they must keep their father's death a secret as they do not want to be seperated by child services. Michael lives to play baseball and is a star pitcher on his neighborhood ball team. As the little league World Series approaches, Michael is questioned about his age and must supply his birth certificate to prove that he can play as a 12 year old. Together with Carlos, friends, and teammates, Michael faces these challenges head on!
Although there was a lot of detailed baseball play by play scenes this book kept my interest and I would definitely recommend it for 9-13 year old readers! (and their mothers or fathers ). Heat touches on friendship, sportsmanship, what it means to be a family, and the immigrant experience.