Author: Natalie Dias Lorenzi
Genre: realistic fiction
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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
|even better than I expected|
Summary (provided by publisher): Ten-year-old Bilal liked his life back home in Pakistan. He was a star on his cricket team. But when his father suddenly sends the family to live with their aunt and uncle in America, nothing is familiar. While Bilal tries to keep up with his cousin Jalaal by joining a baseball league and practicing his English, he wonders when his father will join the family in Virginia. Maybe if Bilal can prove himself on the pitcher's mound, his father will make it to see him play. But playing baseball means navigating relation-ships with the guys, and with Jordan, the only girl on the team—the player no one but Bilal wants to be friends with. A sensitive and endearing contemporary novel about family, friends, and assimilation.
My opinion: I really enjoyed the narration in this book. Bilal's voice really shines. His confidence in Pakistan, his uncertainty and depression during his early weeks in Virginia, is sense of loss and feeling out of place, all of this comes through in his dialogue and narration. More than most characters we can understand why he makes poor choices regarding Jordan. At first he genuinely doesn't understand what is going on. Later, he doesn't want to lose his small group of tenuous (and admittedly fairweather) friends.
All in all, this is a quick and compelling read. It highlights sports, politics, and the need for interpersonal understanding and patience. A solid choice for nearly any middle grade reader.
More Information: A Long Pitch Home releases September 6.
Advance Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.