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There's No Base Like Home

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This will be twelve-year-old Sophia Maria Garcia’s best year ever: she’s trying out for the same championship softball team her sister played on at her age, and she’s starting middle school. New school, new team, new Sophia! But all does not go according to plan. Sophia does not make the Waves softball team and her best friend is suddenly more interested in boys than Sophia This will be twelve-year-old Sophia Maria Garcia’s best year ever: she’s trying out for the same championship softball team her sister played on at her age, and she’s starting middle school. New school, new team, new Sophia! But all does not go according to plan. Sophia does not make the Waves softball team and her best friend is suddenly more interested in boys than Sophia. As the middle school blues set in, and her family is pulled in different directions, Sophia must reach deep down and find a little UMPH—the difference between being good and great—to figure out her own place, on and off the field. ESPN Major League Baseball analyst and two-time Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza teams up with her sister Alana Mendoza Dusan for their first highly-illustrated novel for young readers, based on their own childhood softball adventures.


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This will be twelve-year-old Sophia Maria Garcia’s best year ever: she’s trying out for the same championship softball team her sister played on at her age, and she’s starting middle school. New school, new team, new Sophia! But all does not go according to plan. Sophia does not make the Waves softball team and her best friend is suddenly more interested in boys than Sophia This will be twelve-year-old Sophia Maria Garcia’s best year ever: she’s trying out for the same championship softball team her sister played on at her age, and she’s starting middle school. New school, new team, new Sophia! But all does not go according to plan. Sophia does not make the Waves softball team and her best friend is suddenly more interested in boys than Sophia. As the middle school blues set in, and her family is pulled in different directions, Sophia must reach deep down and find a little UMPH—the difference between being good and great—to figure out her own place, on and off the field. ESPN Major League Baseball analyst and two-time Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza teams up with her sister Alana Mendoza Dusan for their first highly-illustrated novel for young readers, based on their own childhood softball adventures.

45 review for There's No Base Like Home

  1. 3 out of 5

    Barbara

    Like many girls her age, Sophia Garcia looks up to her older sister. Not only is Ellie smart, fit, and supportive of her younger sister, but she is an ace on the softball mound and helped lead her team, the Waves, to many victories. As summer comes to an end, Sophia tries out for the very same team, but she doesn't make the cut and ends up playing for a different team, the Quakes. While she had at first admired the intensity of the Waves' coach and what seemed to be strong team spirit, eventuall Like many girls her age, Sophia Garcia looks up to her older sister. Not only is Ellie smart, fit, and supportive of her younger sister, but she is an ace on the softball mound and helped lead her team, the Waves, to many victories. As summer comes to an end, Sophia tries out for the very same team, but she doesn't make the cut and ends up playing for a different team, the Quakes. While she had at first admired the intensity of the Waves' coach and what seemed to be strong team spirit, eventually Sophia realizes that there are many different approaches to coaching and winning. The fact that the book is filled with authentic details about the sport and that Sophia struggles to find her place on and off the field adds to its appeal. I'm sure there are many intermediate and middle grade girls who will relate to her feelings as many of her classmates, including her best friend Casey suddenly seem to have gone boy crazy and focused solely on how they look. The strong message of self-empowerment and being true to yourself rings through in the book's pages and makes it a good choice as a reading recommendation. After all, as Sophia's father is quick to remind her, why be like everyone else or get lost in the crowd when you can stand out by being yourself? Although some readers may feel annoyed at Sophia's anger and disappointment with her parents who are working too often to attend all her games, her experiences and feelings mirror those of many youngsters today whose parents work hard to give them what they need but cannot always be there in presence. There's also much to learn from Sophia's coach, CJ. I liked this book although much of it was predictable, and I'd certainly read more if Sophia and Ellie's adventures continue in literary form. It's encouraging to find a female character who prefers not to give up her sport in favor of more stereotypical "feminine" pursuits.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather Jensen

    This is the book I needed to read as an awkward softball loving middle schooler. Sophia struggles with all the changes in her life, but her love of softball, family and friends never goes away. Illustrations by Ruth McNally Barshaw make the characters come to life. If you love softball, family, and friends then this is the book for you!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Sophia Garcia wants to follow in her older sister Ellie's footsteps and play on the Waves softball team, but she doesn't make the cut. She is glad when a new team, the Quakes, is formed and she's asked to play on it. She still doesn't feel as if she is as good as her sister, but she's a little resistant to the training her sister tries to put her through in order to be a better player, even though she knows it will help. The girls have a lot of games, and their hardworki E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Sophia Garcia wants to follow in her older sister Ellie's footsteps and play on the Waves softball team, but she doesn't make the cut. She is glad when a new team, the Quakes, is formed and she's asked to play on it. She still doesn't feel as if she is as good as her sister, but she's a little resistant to the training her sister tries to put her through in order to be a better player, even though she knows it will help. The girls have a lot of games, and their hardworking parents and extended family support them as much as they can, often bringing delicious food with them! With middle school starting, Sophia and her friend Casey are finding themselves with different interests-- Sophia is still all about softball, but Casey is interested in boys and clothes. It doesn't help that Casey's family is much better off than Sophia's, and Sophia finds herself being a little jealous, while Casey feels that Sophia doesn't listen to any concerns that aren't about sports. Sophia starts playing outfield instead of pitching (which is more Ellie's interest), and tries to stop being so cranky with her family and with Casey. Strengths: We have a girls' softball team at school, but there as so few books that cover girls' teams. This had a lot of good information about different positions, and the light rivalry between Sophia and her sister was interesting. Seeing the Garcias extended family was nice as well. Illustrations will really help sell this, as will the celebrity factor if my girls have ever heard of these sisters. Weaknesses: I had a hard time getting my head around a softball season going into December! By mid October in Ohio, it's way too cold to be playing outdoor sports, but this must not be the case in California! I wish this was a bit happier and less angsty. What I really think: I'll have to buy a copy. I have a fair number of softball books, but a huge proportion of them are historical fiction. It's nice to see what that's modern.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    Softball reigns in this debut novel for author, and ball-playing, sisters Jessica Mendoza and Alana Mendoza Dusan. 4th-6th grade girls who play and love the game will be thrilled to find a book that is saturated with lingo from the diamond and captures the intensity of travel team softball. The writing duo breaks up softball games, practices, and conversation with a bit of middle school angst over struggles to find a comfortable niche with peers, some family drama over money and job pressures, a Softball reigns in this debut novel for author, and ball-playing, sisters Jessica Mendoza and Alana Mendoza Dusan. 4th-6th grade girls who play and love the game will be thrilled to find a book that is saturated with lingo from the diamond and captures the intensity of travel team softball. The writing duo breaks up softball games, practices, and conversation with a bit of middle school angst over struggles to find a comfortable niche with peers, some family drama over money and job pressures, and a few awkward attempts at talking to boys. But the theme is softball, softball, softball. Promotional reviews talk up the messages of being true to one’s self and not being afraid to be an individual and while those important themes are there, they are mainly within the context of playing softball. The flow of this novel is smooth and easy to read and the roller coaster mix of anxiety and excitement felt by main character Sophia is inescapable. Librarians (and parents) with a significant softball-loving population will want to add this one to their consideration list, and if ethnic diversity is needed in a library collection also, then “There’s No Base Like Home” will easily check off both boxes with Hispanic characters and cuisine clearly celebrated. Additional content note-no profanity, violence, or sexual content of any kind. Added bonus-a few lessons on sportsmanship and honest communication between friends, teammates, and family members. Why only three stars with all the positives described here? Readers in the target age group who do not play softball may get bogged down in the game play and practices, and with library budgets being cut like they are, this book may not have a wide enough appeal on my campus.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Jill Shouler baird

  6. 3 out of 5

    Krk323

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  8. 3 out of 5

    Lina

  9. 3 out of 5

    Sarah Donovan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  11. 3 out of 5

    Angie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate Thomas

  13. 5 out of 5

    Avery B

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

  15. 3 out of 5

    Jessica

  16. 3 out of 5

    Sean

  17. 3 out of 5

    Silvana [The Book Voyagers]

  18. 3 out of 5

    Sarah

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber (YA Indulgences)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shenwei

  22. 3 out of 5

    Mizu

  23. 4 out of 5

    Noa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Jennings

  26. 4 out of 5

    W.

  27. 4 out of 5

    YAYOMG

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sky

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shveta Thakrar

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

  32. 5 out of 5

    David

  33. 5 out of 5

    Julian

  34. 3 out of 5

    Cali Burke

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Berger

  36. 3 out of 5

    Emily Trowbridge

  37. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nola Byrum

  39. 3 out of 5

    HerBrina Shepherd

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lupe

  41. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  42. 4 out of 5

    Lourdes Heuer

  43. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

  44. 5 out of 5

    Keegan

  45. 3 out of 5

    Ireadkidsbooks

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