Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!

Penguin. Feb. 2020. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525554189.
Gr 5-8–For readers who love baseball and heartwarming realistic fiction, this new title from Kapit is a standout. Vivy is a girl with a passion for baseball; she wants to be a pitcher more than anything else. Her life changes when a baseball coach scouts her at the park playing with her brother. But Vivy’s mother is concerned about her joining the team, mainly because she will be the only child with autism and the only girl. When Vivy’s social skills teacher makes her write a letter to someone, she chooses major league pitcher VJ Capello. Vivy and VJ correspond about everything and form a friendship that they both grow to need. Vivy is a heartwarming protagonist; her daily routines, struggles, and wishes will resonate with young readers who will be rooting for her from the first page. Kapit’s portrayal of a girl with autism and a love for baseball feels authentic. The unique storytelling format of letters and emails will have even the most reluctant of readers turning the pages quickly.
VERDICT A baseball story with heart for young readers of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. This is a must-have title for elementary and middle school libraries where realistic fiction is popular.

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