Youth Fiction Review: Soar by Joan Bauer

Posted by: TracieP | Posted on: Feb 11 2016

Soar, the latest novel by the Newbery Honor-winning Joan Bauer, is a smartly narrated feel-good sports story about the power of perseverance and optimism.

12-year-old Jeremiah hasn't had it easy, but he's learned to turn adversity into opportunity. His mother abandoned him when he was just 9 months old; while her identity remain a mystery, Jeremiah’s adoptive father—Walt—is endearingly nerdy, deeply supportive, and loving. When a virus weakens Jeremiah’s heart, he bravely endures a life-saving heart transplant and works hard to regain his strength. Unfortunately, Jeremiah’s body can’t quite keep up with his mind; his doctors won’t let him run, which means that he can only enjoy his favorite sport—baseball—from the bleachers. When Walt takes a consulting job in a town renowned for its championship baseball team, Jeremiah can hardly wait to move--but Hillcrest, Ohio is just about ready to give up on baseball entirely in the wake of a hard-hitting scandal. Jeremiah bravely refuses to turn his back on the sport that he loves, and sets out to renew Hillcrest's faith in bats, gloves, and bases.  

Filled with an infectious enthusiasm for baseball, life lessons abound in this heart-warming middle-grade novel.