Michiko Minigawa’s life is nothing but a bad game of baseball. The Canadian government swung the bat once, knocking her family away from a Vancouver home base to an old farmhouse in the Kootenay Mountains. But when they move into town, the government swings the bat again, announcing that all Japanese must now move east of the Rockies or else go to Japan.
Now in Ontario, Michiko once again has to adjust to a whole new kind of life. She is the only Japanese student in her school, and making friends is harder than it was before. When Michiko surprises an older student with her baseball skills and he encourages her to try out for the local team, she gives it a shot. But everyone thinks this new baseball star is a boy. Michiko has to make a decision: quit playing ball (and being harassed), or pitch like she’s never pitched before.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Cover: I love it.
Review: I’m very interested in all things ‘gender bender’, so after reading the description, I knew I had to read Cherry Blossom Baseball.
The Michiko as a boy part wasn’t really a big part of this story (it started in the second half), but Michiko was a very interesting character and I didn’t miss it that much. She is a young girl, not only growing up during the second world war, but also hated by most of society, because she is japanese and therefore the enemy. Michiko’s struggles were reasonable, how she wanted to be herself and at the same time be like the other children, so she could fit in. I was very sorry for her because of the bullying she had to endure and I felt her happiness when playing or talking about baseball. The war itself isn’t talked a lot of, but its shadow is shaping the lives of every person, which makes an interesting read.
I got a really early ARC and a lot of sentences were missing, so some things I didn’t get. But as I said, early ARC. Those are never perfect.
You may guess it, but better be safe than sorry: Trigger warning for racism.
Cherry Blossom Baseball is going to be published on December, 5th. You can read a sample or preorder it here.
As I said before I got it an ARC. It was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.