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Heat Paperback – March 1, 2007

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"The Only Game"
From New York Times best-selling author and sports-writing legend Mike Lupica comes a story of a Little League World Series star player who decides to quit baseball after a personal tragedy but eventually gets back into the game thanks to a little help from his friends. Learn more
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0940 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142407577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142407578
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-When Michael Arroyo is on the baseball diamond, everything feels right. He's a terrific pitcher who dreams of leading his South Bronx All-Stars to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. It's a dream he shared with his father, one they brought with them as they fled Cuba and wound up living in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Michael's ultimate dream is to play in the major leagues like his hero, El Grande, Yankee star and fellow Cuban refugee. Tragically, Papi died of a heart attack a few months back, leaving Michael and his older brother, Carlos, to struggle along on their own. Afraid of being separated, they hide the news of their father's death from everyone but a kindly neighbor, Mrs. Cora, and Michael's best friend, Manny Cabrera. When a bitter rival spreads rumors that Michael is older than he appears, the league demands that he be benched until he can produce a birth certificate. As he did in Travel Team (Philomel, 2004), Lupica crafts an involving, fast-paced novel peopled with strong, well-developed characters. Readers will find themselves rooting for Michael as he struggles with the loss of his father, stumbles into his first boy-girl relationship, and yearns to play baseball. The sports scenes are especially well written; fittingly, the euphoric finale takes place at Yankee Stadium. At times, the author veers toward melodrama but he keeps his lively plot on course with humor, crisp dialogue, and true-to-life characters. Lupica scores another hit with this warmhearted novel.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 6--9. Michael Arroyo is a 13-year-old Cuban American who lives in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Yes, he is a Little League ballplayer, and, yes, he has a dream: to pitch in the Little League World Series. To do so, his South Bronx All-Stars will need to beat the best the greater New York area has to offer in the regional championship, to be played in--you guessed it--Yankee Stadium. This setup sounds like yet another Rocky meets Bad News Bears tearjerker: the immigrants from the Bronx take on the white-bread rich kids from the suburbs. It is that (with some notable twists), but it's much more, too. Michael and his brother, 17-year-old Carlos, have a problem: their beloved father is dead, and the boys are hoping to avoid a foster home by pretending Papi is visiting a sick relative in Miami. Lupica wrings plenty of genuine emotion from the melodramatic frame story, but he sidesteps the slough of social significance by building characters who speak for themselves, not the author, and by enlivening the story with a teen version of street humor. The dialogue crackles, and the rich cast of supporting characters--especially Michael's battery mate, catcher and raconteur Manny--nearly steals the show. Top-notch entertainment in the Carl Hiaasen mold. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Michael is a great baseball player with an amazing right arm.
Diane P. Briggs
That is a good thing that this book reminded me of that movie because I really enjoyed that movie.
This was a very interesting book with well developed characters.
K. E Hart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on February 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Heat. It's about a twelve-year-old boy named Michael Arroyo, who is a baseball pitcher. And he's not just any pitcher. He has "the heat" in his arm that makes great pitchers stand out. His team has a chance to make it to the Little League World Series, in large part because of his pitching ability. Making it to the World Series is critically important for Michael, because it will fulfill a dream of his father's, and his own.

But Michael has problems, too. His mother died when he was younger, and his father has been absent for several months. Recently, some of the adults in the community have begun asking Michael and his older brother Carlos difficult questions. Carlos is working multiple jobs to support them, but if word gets out about their father, the brothers fear that they will be separated, and put into the foster care system.

Things get worse when a rival player accuses Michael of being older than his 12 years, and hence ineligible to play Little League. Michael can't prove his age because his birth certificate was lost when he emigrated from Cuba. And without his father to help, he and Carlos don't know where to turn. As the playoffs begin, Michael finds himself on the sidelines.

The story isn't all gloom and doom, of course. Michael has several things going for him. He has his love of baseball, his loyal best friend Manny, and a grandmotherly neighbor who cooks for him. And he meets a girl, a very special girl named Ellie. With help from his friends, Michael is able to confront his demons. The ending is heart-warming, and may require tissues.

I loved the characters in this book, especially Michael, whose loneliness in the absence of his parents is palpable.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book myself, and enjoyed it. For an adult, it's a cute, heartwarming story. However it's a good book for a young adult, short enough for them to complete it in good time. My 13-year-old boy, who doesn't always read much, finished this book over the course of a few days. He enjoyed it enough to read it on his own from cover-to-cover.

The book is about a 12-yr old boy from Cuba and touches on the struggles of immigrants, the working poor, family dynamics, caring neighbors, and adolesence. Oh yeah, and baseball too.....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Heat, a great baseball story, is the best sports story I have ever read, is written by Mike Lupica. Michael Arroyo, a 12 year old boy from Cuba, plays baseball for the Clippers. He seems to be a normal boy that you would meet in the Bronx of New York. He has plenty of friends, lives in an apartment with his brother Carlos, and adores the Yankees. But Michael is not your average baseball player. In the first chapter, Michael hits a handbag thief in the back of the head with a baseball he threw from home plate. The amazing thing is the thief was in deep center field. He can pitch so fast that he knocks over his catcher, and best friend, Manny. With Papa's advice, and help from Carlos, it seems that nothing can stop him. The problems start when he meets Ellie, a Cuban girl that he thinks is very pretty. When he tries to impress her, he goes too far. The coaches of the other teams now think he isn't 12 because he can pitch so fast. Now, Michael has to try to keep his dream of getting to the Little League World Series alive, and keep his greatest secret to himself. That's hard now that Ellie won't talk to him. I liked this book because it is about a kid with a dream who will do anything to make his dream come true, like me. If you start to read Heat, you won't stop until you're done.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Heat is a okay read, though it is very boyish and rather boring for anyone who is not into baseball. The book is about a boy named Michael Arroyo, a boy who immagrated from Cuba sometime before. He is very into baseball and is an orphan along with his older brother. However, thay are keeping their dad's death secret. When Michael gets accused for lying about his age in baseball (though he's not) he can't prove it because he dosen't have the birth certificate he left in Cuba. There is also a long description of each game with names of plays and fouls and outs and really confusing stuff to many people who aren't familiar with the game's rules. I just find that boring, though any big baseball guy would probably like the book.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Cutey on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm like one of the other reviewers - bought this for someone else but got to read it too and enjoyed it a lot. Obviously for a 32 year old, this was a very easy read, but it was interesting and fun and I loved it as much as any kid.

It's about a young Cuban born pitcher who dreams of making it to the little league series but then a rival coach accuses him of being older than the league limit. He has to try and proove his age with some difficulty. His father (who came with him to America from Cuba) has since died and he can't get his birth certificate. I won't say anymore about the plot (I don't want to give it away), but I will say that this is very good and enjoyable. It's even going to be made into a movie.

I think this book is really for anyone who is a sports fan - not only the specified age group listed here. If you are a kid at heart, then you'll find this great too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Mike Lupica is one of the most prominent sports writers in America. His longevity at the top of his field is based on his experience and insider's knowledge, coupled with a provocative presentation that takes an uncompromising look at the tumultuous world of professional sports. Today he is a syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News, which includes his popular "Shooting from the Lip" column, which appears every Sunday. He began his newspaper career covering the New York Knicks for the New York Post at age 23. He became the youngest columnist ever at a New York paper with the New York Daily News, which he joined in 1977. For more than 30 years, Lupica has added magazines, novels, sports biographies, other non-fiction books on sports, as well as television to his professional resume. For the past fifteen years, he has been a TV anchor for ESPN's The Sports Reporters. He also hosted his own program, The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN2. In 1987, Lupica launched "The Sporting Life" column in Esquire magazine. He has published articles in other magazines, including Sport, World Tennis, Tennis, Golf Digest, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, ESPN: The Magazine, Men's Journal and Parade. He has received numerous honors, including the 2003 Jim Murray Award from the National Football Foundation. Mike Lupica co-wrote autobiographies with Reggie Jackson and Bill Parcells, collaborated with noted author and screenwriter, William Goldman on Wait Till Next Year, and wrote The Summer of '98, Mad as Hell: How Sports Got Away from the Fans and How We Get It Back and Shooting From the Lip, a collection of columns. In addition, he has written a number of novels, including Dead Air, Extra Credits, Limited Partner, Jump, Full Court Press, Red Zone, Too Far and national bestsellers Wild Pitch and Bump and Run. Dead Air was nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Mystery and became a CBS television move, "Money, Power, Murder" to which Lupica contributed the teleplay. Over the years he has been a regular on the CBS Morning News, Good Morning America and The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. On the radio, he has made frequent appearances on Imus in the Morning since the early 1980s. His previous young adult novels, Travel Team, Heat, Miracle on 49th Street, and the summer hit for 2007, Summer Ball, have shot up the New York Times bestseller list. Lupica is also what he describes as a "serial Little League coach," a youth basketball coach, and a soccer coach for his four children, three sons and a daughter. He and his family live in Connecticut.

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