cover image Soar


Joan Bauer. Viking, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-451-47034-8

In a novel filled with dramatic highs and lows, Bauer (Tell Me) introduces an irrepressible boy who finds a way to triumph over limitations. Twelve-year-old Jeremiah Lopper was abandoned as an infant, then caught a virus that weakened his heart. More recently, a heart transplant has left him frail. Jeremiah has remained optimistic through these rough times, but it's been hard for him to accept that he may never have a chance to play baseball, his favorite sport. Unexpectedly, Jeremiah gets an opportunity to become involved with the sport when he and his adoptive father move to Hillcrest, Ohio, a baseball-obsessed town whose high school and middle school teams have been destroyed by scandal. Jeremiah's enthusiasm for baseball is infectious, and he plays a major role in rebuilding and coaching a team at the middle school while lifting the sagging spirits of community members. Outgoing Jeremiah plays a humorous foil to his socially challenged father, and their mutual love and respect is evident. If the book contains a few too many convenient resolutions, most readers will feel that Jeremiah's victories are well earned and deserved. Ages 10%E2%80%93up. (Jan.)