cover image Baseball in April and Other Stories

Baseball in April and Other Stories

Gary Soto. Harcourt Children's Books, $16 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205720-6

Poet Soto ( A Fire in My Hands ) has written 11 contemporary short stories set in the poorer districts of central California. Sprinkled with Spanish expressions and phrases, the collection has a distinct Latino flavor, yet the conflicts and feelings expressed are universal. Whether conveying the joy of receiving a new doll, anxiety over Little League tryouts or the desire to stand above the crowd, Soto's writing is honest and moving. Although the narrative's subtle quality may not appeal to all readers, most will recognize truths revealed through everyday events and will appreciate Soto's ability to crystallize a moment. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)