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.
JOYCE GRANT is a freelance journalist and the author of numerous books for children, including the Sports Stories novel Tagged Out. She is also the co-founder of TeachingKidsNews.com, which provides free, kid-friendly news. She lives in Toronto.
"Appropriate for readers at a third grade reading level, these [Sports Stories books effectively combine high-impact action scenes with sophisticated social themes."
Sliding Home can be used to address many issues in the contemporary classroom. Many students will be able to identify with the stress and worry that Miguel experiences as they consider their own personal situations.
"When they finally learn that his father is able to come to Canada, they have to find the money for his flight. Miguel opens up to his teammates, and they come up with a plan: a community fundraiser and exhibition ball game, where each of the Blues can offer his or her resources to make it a success. Miguel and his teammates have learned what is possible through teamwork."