Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Engaging story about a pitching prodigy.

Book Mike Lupica Sports 2006
Heat Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 10+

The Heat is a great Lesson Too!

My son read this book for his a/r goal at school. He had a couple of issues himself at school about being nervous before a performance and made up a little white lie and got caught. This was a great book to show how little white lies can grow and hurt peoples feelings even if you don't intend that to be the end result.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 10+
I'm a teacher and use frequently with boys who are reluctant readers and like works!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (13):

Even with all life's hardships and heartbreak, this book reaffirms that it's still a beautiful world. It sounds like a classic setup at first: poor, orphaned, but surprisingly cheerful and well-adjusted boy triumphs -- with the help of family love and good friends -- over insurmountable odds, including the devious, mean rich coach of the rival team and his spoiled son. It's a cliché from start to finish, right? So why doesn't it feel that way?

Partly, it's because sportswriter Mike Lupica's muscular prose shines on the ballfield. Partly, it's because the author knows that a truly satisfying ending has nothing to do with winning a ballgame. And, partly, it's because clichés get used a lot because they work. It's precisely the familiarity, the predictability, and the lack of realism that make this so affecting.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate