By Mike Lupica
Michael Arroyo is a 12 year old boy whose dream is to become a professional baseball player. He came over from Cuba with his dad & brother. He lives in the Bronx & made lots of friends who he plays baseball with. He is a tall, skinny boy with long arms & long fingers which helps him to become an excellent pitcher. He really likes playing baseball but he faces some conflicts. One conflict is that his father died & he is living alone with his 17 year old brother Carlos. He has to pretend that his father is alive & is visiting his sick brother in Florida. This makes him nervous because if anyone finds out the truth, him & his brother will be sent to a foster home. Specific text evidence is that on page (8) it states ''As long as he didn't get found out first". Another conflict he faces is that he can't find his birth certificate. This is a problem because people think he is over the age of 12 & can't pitch on the team until he finds the certificate. Evidence that supports this is ''They decided that until proper birth certificate is on file, you are not eligible to play'' (86). As stated above, Michel really wants to be a professional baseball player but faces some conflicts.
The two most important literary elements in this book are setting & characterization. The setting adds to the plot in many ways. There are three main reasons why the Bronx adds to the plot. The first reason is that the Bronx is the home of the N.Y. Yankees & Michael's dream is to become a famous pitcher. The second reason is that there are poor areas in the Bronx & Michael & his brother don't have money. The story states that Carlos has two jobs to pay bills. The final reason is because Michael lives right next to Yankee stadium & he loves the Yankees. This is shown in the story when it states that he watches or listens to the Yankee's. this evidence shows that the setting adds to the plot.
Michael's personality adds to the plot of the story in many ways. The first way is by his love for baseball. We find out how much he loves baseball when he isn't allowed to play but still practices. The second way is when he got upset when he found out that Ellie lied to him. This shows that he is a sensitive kid because he went to Mrs. C for comfort & advice. Lastly, Michael jokes around with his friend Manny which shows us his sense of humor. This evidence shows that Michael personality adds to the plot.
I recommend this book because it is exciting & interesting. I like reading books that have action & books that keep me interested. The authors wordplay made me want to keep reading. This book met my criteria because it was full of action & it made me very interested in what was going to happen next. This book was really good & I recommend it.