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Miguel hasn’t missed his native El Salvador since arriving in Canada with his mother and sister. But with his father still in El Salvador running their bakery, and gangs shaking down the old neighbourhood, life still isn’t easy for Miguel. Holding down multiple jobs leaves him with little time for his beloved game of baseball — while happy-go-lucky Sebastian, Miguel’s teammate on the Blues of Toronto’s Christie Pits Park, spends his free time becoming a faster and better player.
When his father’s situation becomes critical, Miguel becomes desperate to bring him to Canada. But he can’t even afford to join the Blues on a road game — how can his family possibly pay his father’s way? A solution comes from Sebastian, who proposes a big baseball fundraiser. As the Blues learn about the hard realities some new Canadian kids face, Miguel and his family learn to trust their neighbours and teammates.
Lorimer, Toronto, Ontario. April 2018.
Middle-grade, reluctant reader (hi-lo) novel, ages 9-13.
ISBN-10: 1459412842, ISBN-13: 978-1459412842
March 2016, Lorimer Publishing.
The kid they’re bullying – just might be the team’s best hope.
The Toronto Blues baseball team isn’t having a winning season. Their pitcher throws hard, but not usually over the plate. Their catcher is a goofball and their shortstop hates everyone—not least of all himself.
When they hear that a new, all-star player from the States is going to join the team, they’re thrilled; maybe they will finally win something. But what will happen when the athlete they’re pinning their hopes on turns out to be the gay kid they’ve been bullying at school?
This middle-grade sports novel features compelling characters in situations kids can relate to. With plenty of baseball action and fast-paced dialogue, even the most reluctant reader will keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.
“I’m proud to have the same name as one of the greatest coaches in history—Coach Coop!”
-Matthew (Coop) Cooper, baseball coach
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GABBY: WONDER GIRL
Feb. 2015, illustrated by Jan Dolby, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
Gabby returns as Wonder Girl in the third book of the Gabby series. When Gabby finds a mysterious photograph in her backyard, she teams up with her best friend, Super Roy, to figure out who the strange girl in the picture is. Using her magic book and the power of punctuation, Gabby and Roy must ask the right questions to solve the mystery and save the day!
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GABBY: DRAMA QUEEN
When Gabby and her friend Roy want to put on a play, what could go wrong?
They soon find out, as “Queen Gabriella” loses her precious crown! They’ll find it in the most unlikely place – with the help of Gabby’s magic word-making book and her nutty but loveable neighbour, Mrs. Oldham.
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Quirky, likeable Gabby discovers that her alphabet book has a magical quality. Its letters can be used to create anything she likes.
When Gabby puts the letters together to create a cat and its natural enemy, Gabby has to think fast! Can she get everyone to become friends?
Praise for Gabby:
• 2014 Rainforest of Reading nominee
• 2014 Toy Testing Council Recommended Read
• 2013 Ontario Library Association Top 10 Best Bets
• 2013 Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens
“Gabby is a colourful and animated picture book that will engage children through its bright illustrations and imaginative text. The story also functions as a creative lesson in how to spell and attach meaning to words.” —CM Magazine
“A charming read-aloud story ideal for getting little ones interested in forming their own spelled-out words. Highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review (The Picturebook Shelf)
“Look at this little cutie! Could it be a junior Pippi? No, this little one is Gabby and she’s much more grounded and responsible, but still imaginative.” —CanLit For Little Canadians
“The connection between words and the real things they represent is playfully presented in this first book by journalist and editor Joyce Grant.” —City Parent, On The Bookshelf