Thirteen-year-old Satoshi Matsumoto spent the last three years living in Atlanta where he was the star of his middle-school baseball team – a slugger with pro potential, according to his coach. Now that his father’s work in the U.S. has come to an end, he’s moved back to his hometown in rural Japan. Living abroad has changed him, and now his old friends are suspicious of his new foreign ways. Even worse, his childhood foe Shintaro, whose dad has ties to gangsters, is in his homeroom. After he joins his new school’s baseball team, Satoshi has a chance to be a hero until he makes a major-league error.
“A heart-warming story about a baseball player who learns that teamwork is much more important than being the star of the team. I loved the family dynamics and depiction of life, and especially baseball, in Japan.”—Shauna Holyoak, author of Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers (Hyperion, 2019)
“Pop Flies really pops! A lively, fun, easy read that draws you in and keeps you guessing.”—Dori Jones Yang, award-winning author of The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball (SparkPress, 2017)
“An engaging, sports-focused, family-driven Japanese spin on the new-kid-in-school narrative.”—Kirkus Reviews
Sakura Medal longlist 2021
Parents Choice: Recommended 2020
American Book Fest Best Fiction award winner 2020