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Bilal was a star on his cricket team back in Pakistan. But now Bilal is in Virginia, where they don’t play cricket, but they do play baseball.

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Nov 18, 2016

This book gently introduces readers to Pakistani culture while telling a story with universal appeal. Bilal is a lot like any 10 year old that has moved to a new place, instead he has moved to a new country. He wants friends and to fit in at school. Yet there are alot of firsts that I've *never* found in an elementary book. There are literally over 9 million kids in US who speak a second language and 1 million of those don't speak English well at all! Its shocking that all those kids are being completely ignored in literature. ESL is discussed and we see how useful it is to not only help with the language but also the adjustment of a new culture. Sprinkled throughout is the sharp differences of living in America. Muslim customs are mentioned but not the focus. No one makes fun of him for being different. Instead he has to decided to stick up for another girl thats being bullied. Adults probably won't like the story book ending but the length of time that is required before it comes about makes it very plausible. Baseball is the running theme. Yet because for Bilal its new, we get to experience it for the first time also. Give to fans of baseball, reluctant readers and white kids so they can continue to develop empathy for people who are different.


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