A fastball of a book by Paul Volponi an author who kws sports and suspense! Julio Ramirez Jr. lives in the shadow of his famous father. Not just because Julio Senior is a pitcher for the Miami Marlins and famous for his scorching fastball, but because he defected from Cuba, leaving Julio and his sister and mother branded as the family of a traitor. Now sixteen, Julio has dreams of playing shortstop for Cuba's national team--until he's given the opportunity to sail to the U.S. Can he abandon his family, just like his Papi did? Is freedom worth the perilous journey and risking prison if he's caught? Will his Papi be waiting for him on the other shore or, with the Marlins in the World Series against the Yankees, has Julio Senior forgotten all about his son? An entertaining tale of baseball, family and loyalty. Kirkus Reviews Volponi once again delivers top-tch sports fare coupled with a deeper story of family and fidelity. . . Readers will identify with Julio as he juggles dreams, bitterness, and family loyalties in this lyrical, spare vel. Booklist A poignant story. . . this is a must-read for any teen who t only loves stories about sports but also enjoys reading about families. VOYA
Paul Volponi (www.paulvolponibooks.com) is a writer, journalist, and teacher. He has taught incarcerated teens to write on Rikers Island and he taught adolescents in a drug-treatment program in New York City.