Soar by Joan Bauer
Jeremiah is a baseball fan. More than that, he's kind of a baseball expert. He can tell you the infield fly rule as well as most any player statistic you could name. And he loves the game with his whole heart. But he can't play one game of it. Not any more.
That's because Jeremiah has someone else's heart. He received a transplant when he was younger. When you get the chance to have a second heart, you had better take care of it-- which means no running, not even to bases.
But when he and his dad move to a new town, he finds that the entire town is almost as obsessed with baseball as he is. Everyone turns out for the high school team's games and they celebrate their wins like they were major league players. That's awesome, but what's weird is there's no team for middle school... and weirder still, no one will talk about why there isn't one.
But if there's one thing that Jeremiah was born to do, it's coach. And there's even kids who he can tell have real talent. They are more than a rag-tag team, they're destined for greatness. Until scandal rocks the high school team and threatens to bring the whole town down with it. Jeremiah knows that his team looks like just a bunch of middle school students with a dream, but if they don't do something big, baseball in their town is going to be dead forever.
If you haven't had a chance to check out a Joan Bauer book, this is a great one to start with (though when you're done, you should check out all her other books too). Jeremiah and his team are a home-run.
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