pedroI’m the fifth child in my family and was always delighted to have teachers mistakenly call me by a sibling’s name–I knew it could only mean good things for me. So the central relationship in this book, two brothers who sometimes envy each other but always admire and help each other, resonated with me.

This is the story of two great baseball players, Ramon and Pedro Martinez, and how they came to leave the Dominican Republic to play in the American big leagues and how their relationship grew and changed over time. Tavares tells the story with short, muscular sentences. He’s good at talking baseball but never loses focus on the central brother-to-brother relationship.

This book has a hefty word count–over 1700 words!–so it’s not for the quick bedtime read or the impatient toddler, but there’s plenty here for baseball fans and older kids who take the time to savor it.

Trailer for the book.

Growing Up Pedro, by Matt Tavares. Candlewick: 2015.