Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Baseball was the thing that Peter could count on to bring his family together, but that was before the accident. Now Peter hopes that baseball will once again unite his family after his brother is killed in a car accident. Peter decides to try out for the baseball team, a sport he loved playing with his brother, and hopes it will bring her mom out of her depression. Peter is shocked when his usually strict Taiwanese father becomes the team coach, but it turns out his father had played back in Taiwan. As Peter and his dad bond, a shocking surprise threatens the unity of the team and the social norms of the time. The team is determined to stand up for what is right. Peter’s persistence pays off at the end of the book when he is finally able to bring his mother out of her depression and get her to talk about baseball once again.
The Way Home Looks Now is an outstanding novel about family, baseball, and what you do with grief. This book is filled with an abundance of information regarding baseball and will appeal to any any reader who loves the sport. The characters are relatable and readers will cheer alongside Peter and his team and feel his frustration as he tries to connect with his family. Shang’s strength in writing is demonstrated in her ability to make readers empathize with Peter and his struggle to move past the death of his brother and reconnect with his family. Topics of immigration, assimilation, and women’s liberation are weaved thoughtfully throughout the book. This truly is a wonderful book that examines how family dynamics evolve and how children experience loss and hope, as well as an examination of the changes in society during the 1970’s.