BECOMING JOE DIMAGGIO by Maria Testa, illustrated by Scott Hunt
Growing up with Joe.
Baseball and Grandpa. War. Dreams.
Twenty four stories.
Middle grade (ages 10 and up)
Verse novel – collection of 24 poems
First person POV
Heavy baseball theme
Plot centered relentless on baseball, but strangely lacking in baseball lingo, action, language? Why not deeper exploration into sports analogies
Condensed timeline ramps emotion as country splinters and war looms
Iconic sports hero’s life as he makes peace with upcoming retirement parallels main character’s (Joseph Paul) life and making peace with father’s prison sentence
Themes of — evolving self awareness, adolescent awkwardness and maturing understanding of one boy’s hearts desire
Interpersonal relationships – boy and his grandfather, boy and his criminal father, boy and his hero, Joe DiMaggio
Verses reflect emotion (if not action)
But the biggest question that remains to the very end may be…why write this book in verse?