By: Mike Lupica

Jordan Heinrichs

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Imagine working two or three jobs at the age of 17 and having to pay all the bills. That is a very stressful and hard task to do. Heat is a book that is about a 12 year old boy named Michael Arroyo and his brother Carlos. Michael loves baseball and is very good at it. Michael and Carlos escaped from Cuba with there father who passed away when they got to America. Michael is 12 and Carlos is 17. They try to stay away from the social people that will split them up or send them back to Cuba because there is no adult. So Carlos works multiple jobs and tries to pay all the bills, while Michael does what he does best plays baseball pitching very fast. Since he pitches so fast the other coaches don't think he is actually 12 so he is not allowed to pitch until he can get his birth certificate, but that is back in Cuba. Mrs. C and older lady that lives in the same apartment as them helps them through these struggles. Michael meets a girl named Ellie, who actually ends up being El Grande, Michael's favorite pitcher on the New York Yankees team, his daughter. He is also from Cuba and is able to get Michael's birth certificate and Michael is able to play in the championship game at Yankee Stadium.

What did you enjoy about the book?

The things I really enjoyed about this book were that baseball was very involved. Michael's favorite thing was baseball and I can relate to that. The other thing that I really enjoyed was that it takes place in New York in the Bronx, right by Yankee Stadium. What I like about that is that my favorite team is the New York Yankees, and so is Michael's, so I can also relate to him in that way to.

Which characters play an important role in the overall theme of the book?

There are three characters besides Michael that play an important role. One is Mrs. C. She lives in the same apartment as Michael and Carlos. She is like a grandmother to them and helps them through lots of things and takes care of them. The second is Carlos, Michaels brother. You can feel the struggles that Carlos goes through just trying to pay the bills and keep him and Michael together. It is really cool to see the bond and love between those two. The last one is Manny, Michael's best friend. Manny is a funny kid that is always there for Michael when he needs him. Manny is always trying to help Michael through each situation and will keep Michael's secrets.

Was the end satisfactory for (fiction)? Why or why not?

The end of this book was very satisfactory. As you go through the whole book feeling Michael and Carlos's problems you just hope that things will work out for them. The exciting part is is that it does. Michael is able to get his birth certificate and play in Yankee Stadium for the championship. That is really awesome, that would be so cool. Also Michael and Carlos are able to stay together which is even better that they were able to stay together as a family.

What was the author's purpose for writing this book?

I am not exactly sure what his purpose is for writing this book, but I feel that he wanted to show some of the struggles that people go through. I think he wanted to show how baseball can be so much more than just a game. Baseball for some people helps them to get through things that they may not have been able to accomplish without it.

Why would you recommend this book?

I would recommend this book because it is a really good read. I would recommend it to people who like baseball. I just felt like I could really connect to this book with how he likes baseball and likes the Yankees. So I recommend this book to people who may also feel the same way.
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