Great story about becoming who you are done in the prose poetry format. Simple poems tell the story of Joseph Paul, named after Joe DiMaggio, and his immigrant grandfather, Papa-Angelo. Papa-Angelo teaches Joseph about life, family, and even, baseball. The bond between grandfather and grandson is wonderfully portrayed. — Jeanette
"With ineffable tenderness and absolute clarity, Testa tells a tale in blank verse. . . . Powerfully moving as it braids together baseball, family, and the Italian-American experience." — Booklist (starred review)
It's 1936, and the Yankees have just hired a star center fielder whose name sounds like music. What could be a better time for Papa-Angelo's grandson to be born? Christened after the legendary ballplayer, young Joseph Paul learns much at his Italian grandfather's knee — about holding your breath in front of the radio during a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and having the audacity to dream big dreams. "Each poem is a perfect, gripping chapter," says Kirkus Reviews in a starred review of this novel in verse, which honors the timeless bond between a grandson and his immigrant grandfather — and the process of finding one's own place in a brave new world.
About the Author
Maria Testa received a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress Grant for BECOMING JOE DIMAGGIO, a poetic novel inspired by family stories. She has written three picture books for children and a collection of short stories for young adults. She is also the author of another novel about baseball, SOME KIND OF PRIDE, which was awarded the Marguerite De Angeli Prize for a first middle-grade novel. Maria Testa grew up in Rhode Island and now lives on the coast of Maine with her family.
"BECOMING JOE DIMAGGIO is wondrous in its heartfelt, sparse, home-run, free verse tribute to both a family's love of baseball and one of the game's greatest players, "Joltin' Joe." Readers will long remember Testa's words long after the book has been read, long after games have been played."—award-winning poet and anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins — Lee Bennett Hopkins