There's No Base Like Home

By Publishers Weekly

Sophia Garcia, a sixth grader from a warm, extended Mexican-American family, aspires to follow in the athletic footsteps of her older sister, a former ace pitcher on a crackerjack softball team. After Sophia fails to make the team (“pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened to me”), she is recruited by a start-up team and finds her niche by trading the pitcher’s mound for the outfield. Life throws her some unsettling curveballs, though, as she adjusts to cliquey middle school, her best friend’s sudden obsession with boys, and her harried parents’ increased work schedule, which curtails their game attendance. The sibling authors know well of what they write: Mendoza, a two-time Olympic medalist as a member of the U.S. women’s softball team, is an MLB analyst for ESPN; Dusan played Division 1 softball in college. Their insider knowledge of the sport, team dynamics, and the give-and-take of sisterhood lends the narrative authenticity and candor, and their debut strikes a steady balance between on-the-field action and interpersonal interactions. Multiple recaps of plays and plot will help keep hesitant readers in the game.