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Cherry Blossom Baseball: A Cherry Blossom…
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Cherry Blossom Baseball: A Cherry Blossom Book

by Jennifer Maruno

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Cherry Blossom Baseball is an engaging book about a Japanese girl named Michiko, who is forced, along with her family, from her town in Canada to Ontario during World War II. Isolated and scapegoated by her own country's racist policies Michiko is bullied by the kids in school where she is the only Japanese child. Luckily, Michiko has a heart as big as a Mack truck. and loves baseball. She is spunky, courageous, and with her strong pitching arm and great intelligence Michiko finds a way to play on an all-boys baseball team. She becomes a shero and eventually finds acceptance among her peers and adults alike. It doesn't end the pain or the stigma faced by her family but it does ease things a bit.

Cherry Blossom Baseball is easy to read, very absorbing and shows how a compelling character is impacted by the heartbreak of living with racism.. It shows in beautiful detail how a family copes with this loss and also how it damages some relationships and strengths others. For me, some of the best passages of the book were about Michiko's family and the love and compassion they have for each other. This is a perfect book for middle school. They will learn about a sad and dark time in our history and I think they will also be caught up in the story of how Michiko becomes a cherished part of her community. Great.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion. ( )
  Karen59 | Mar 28, 2016 |
I'm very interested in all things 'gender bender', so after reading the description, I knew I had to read Cherry Blossom Baseball.

The Michiko as a boy part wasn't really a big part of this story (it started in the second half), but Michiko was a very interesting character and I didn't miss it that much. She is a young girl, not only growing up during the second world war, but also hated by most of society, because she is japanese and therfore the enemy. Michiko's struggles were reasonable, how she wanted to be herself and at the same time be like the other children, so she could fit in. I was very sorry for her because of the bullying she had to endure and I felt her happiness when playing or talking about baseball. The war itself isn't talked a lot of, but its shadow is shaping the lives of every person, which makes an interesting read.

I got a really early ARC and a lot of sentences were missing, so some things I didn't get. But as I said, early ARC. Those are never perfect.

You may guess it, but better be safe than sorry: Trigger warning for racism.

As I said before I got it an ARC. It was provided by NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. Thank you. ( )
  bookstogetlostin | Jul 28, 2015 |
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