Somehow Alan Gratz managed to get me interested in baseball. And that's no small feat. As Toyo Shimada struggles to find his place at boarding school and endures the ritual torment of the upperclassmen, he also grapples with his uncle's suicide and his own samurai background. His father instructs him in bushido, the way of the warrior, and Toyo tries to bridge the gap between old and new in a rapidly-changing Japan, applying his lessons to the Western game of baseball. In the process he discovers a way to honor his history while pursuing his dreams. A memorable journey.