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Back in Pakistan, ten-year-old Bilal was a popular star on the cricket field. 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 relationships with the guys, and with Jordan, the only girl on the team--the player no one but Bilal wants to be friends with.


Reviews and Honors

* Wisconsin Battle of the Books List, 2023-24

*New Mexico Battle of the Books for Elementary Schools, 2018

* Maryland Black-eyed Susan Book Award Nominee, 2018-2019

South Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominee, 2018-2019

* Virginia Readers Choice Nominee, 2018-2019

* One Book for Nebraska Kids, 2019

* Young Readers League Book (Friends of the Pasadena Public Library

and Vroman's Bookstore), 2018

* Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Nominee, 2017-2018

* Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year List,

Book of Outstanding Merit, 2017

*Notable Books for a Global Society, 2017

* South Asia Book Award Honor, 2017

* Junior Library Guild List, 2016


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Buy the Book

“A warm, sensitive, realistic portrait of a Muslim boy adjusting to contemporary America.”

~Kirkus Reviews

“...A sensitive look at the cultural merging that accompanies immigration.”

~Publishers Weekly“

"Add this title to your shelves, and pitch it to kids who like sports stories and moving realistic novels.” ~School Library Journal

"...for...readers looking for a sports book with heart, this will be a home run."


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