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Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues



written and illustrated by
Matt Tavares

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewick
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9780763668242

Awards and Honors
2016 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Younger Readers
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2015, Informational Books for Younger Readers
2016 CCBC Choices–Biography and Autobiography
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Elementary / Middle Grade Nonfiction
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Biography and Memoir
2016 Américas Award Honorable Mention
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As boys in the Dominican Republic, brothers Pedro and Ramón Martínez threw rocks at the ripe fruit on mango trees. Eighteen years later, both were pitching for the Boston Red Sox. Author's note. Pedro Martínez statistics. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil.

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Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

9 3/4" x 11 13/16"

Dewey

796.357092/2 B

AR

4.6: points 0.5

Lexile

AD730L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Feb 2015

Book Genres


Topics

Pedro Martí,nez (1971- ). Ramó,n Martí,nez (1968- ). Brothers. Manoguayabo, The Dominican Republic. Baseball. Pitchers and pitching. Major League Baseball. Success. Fame. Learning English. Los Angeles Dodgers. Montreal Expos. Cy Young Award. Boston Red Sox.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Tavares is no stranger to the baseball picture book biography genre. He has several examples under his belt: There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived (2012) and Becoming Babe Ruth (2013, both Candlewick). With his latest, Tavares looks to a more recent time and player, Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion Pedro Martinez. Tavares begins in the Dominican Republic in 1981, where Martinez witnessed his older brother Ramon’s rise to stardom. Tavares masterfully depicts, with quick verse and beautiful illustrations, the world in which the two siblings came of age. Though he was considered too small to make it as a pitcher in the major leagues, his persistence eventually paid off and he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and moved to the United States. Martinez journeyed to America, facing challenges as he adapted to a new language and culture. After describing of the athlete’s major league triumphs with several teams, Tavares leads readers back to the mango groves of the Dominican Republic, where Martinez developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball history. It is somewhat vexing that there is no mention of how in 2004, with Martinez, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years; however, this is a strong overview of a remarkable athlete. Martinez’s unbelievable statistics are included at the end of the book. VERDICT A wonderful introduction to a truly special player.—Keith Klang, Port Washington Public Library, NY

Horn Book

Longtime baseball fan Tavares (Becoming Babe Ruth, rev. 1/13, et al.) highlights the relationship between two baseball greats: brothers Ramón and Pedro Martínez. It’s 1981 in the Dominican Republic, and older brother Ramón is showing real promise as a baseball player. Pedro loves baseball too, but feels that his small size will prevent him from ever being a star. Eventually Ramón is signed with the Dodgers, and Pedro tags along to practices, hoping for his chance. Tavares highlights their warm filial relationship, inviting readers to understand how Ramón is challenged by loneliness in America, mostly because his lack of English prevents him from communicating. Pedro follows Ramón’s suggestion and learns English, which helps when Pedro is also drafted to the Dodgers. The second half of the book will be familiar to students of the game: Pedro’s eventual contract with the Red Sox and his heroics in the 1999 playoffs. Tavares’s story ends in the present, with the brothers’ return to the Dominican Republic, where they have built a home for their family along with churches, schools, and baseball fields. The gouache and watercolor paintings lovingly depict both players, from boyhood to adulthood. Tavares captures some of the iconic images of Pedro: pitching with intensity, goofing off in the bullpen, and even being taped to a pole by his teammates as a prank. An author’s note fills in the baseball blanks, including statistics from Pedro’s career; there is also an extensive bibliography. robin l. smith

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Tavares is no stranger to the baseball picture book biography genre. He has several examples under his belt: There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived (2012) and Becoming Babe Ruth (2013, both Candlewick). With his latest, Tavares looks to a more recent time and player, Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion Pedro Martinez. Tavares begins in the Dominican Republic in 1981, where Martinez witnessed his older brother Ramon’s rise to stardom. Tavares masterfully depicts, with quick verse and beautiful illustrations, the world in which the two siblings came of age. Though he was considered too small to make it as a pitcher in the major leagues, his persistence eventually paid off and he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and moved to the United States. Martinez journeyed to America, facing challenges as he adapted to a new language and culture. After describing of the athlete’s major league triumphs with several teams, Tavares leads readers back to the mango groves of the Dominican Republic, where Martinez developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball history. It is somewhat vexing that there is no mention of how in 2004, with Martinez, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years; however, this is a strong overview of a remarkable athlete. Martinez’s unbelievable statistics are included at the end of the book. VERDICT A wonderful introduction to a truly special player.—Keith Klang, Port Washington Public Library, NY

Horn Book

Longtime baseball fan Tavares (Becoming Babe Ruth, rev. 1/13, et al.) highlights the relationship between two baseball greats: brothers Ramón and Pedro Martínez. It’s 1981 in the Dominican Republic, and older brother Ramón is showing real promise as a baseball player. Pedro loves baseball too, but feels that his small size will prevent him from ever being a star. Eventually Ramón is signed with the Dodgers, and Pedro tags along to practices, hoping for his chance. Tavares highlights their warm filial relationship, inviting readers to understand how Ramón is challenged by loneliness in America, mostly because his lack of English prevents him from communicating. Pedro follows Ramón’s suggestion and learns English, which helps when Pedro is also drafted to the Dodgers. The second half of the book will be familiar to students of the game: Pedro’s eventual contract with the Red Sox and his heroics in the 1999 playoffs. Tavares’s story ends in the present, with the brothers’ return to the Dominican Republic, where they have built a home for their family along with churches, schools, and baseball fields. The gouache and watercolor paintings lovingly depict both players, from boyhood to adulthood. Tavares captures some of the iconic images of Pedro: pitching with intensity, goofing off in the bullpen, and even being taped to a pole by his teammates as a prank. An author’s note fills in the baseball blanks, including statistics from Pedro’s career; there is also an extensive bibliography. robin l. smith

Grades 2-6
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Interests
Biographies,Chapter Books,Fiction,Nonfiction,Positive Messages,Reluctant Readers,Sports
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