Play Ball

Play Ball - Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Jackie Lewis I found "Play Ball" - a coming-of-age, wonderfully drawn graphic novel aimed towards middle grade readers - an entertaining and well-done read. The story revolves around Dashiell Brody, a young woman who moves with her mother and sister Arica to a new home, new school, and a new life. Tensions run high within the family because of her mother's new job, and the distance Dashiell's father takes from the family as a whole.Yet, Dashiell isn't one to mope around counting her losses. Having attended a girls-only private school, she sees the new school as the chance to play her favorite sport, baseball. Not softball, mind you - baseball, which means playing with the guys. Yet there are objections to Dashiell even measuring up to play among the team's members, being the only girl in a team of boys in what's considered to be a "man's sport". Even her sister, Arica, has objections because Dashiell doesn't want to fit into the niche of popular girls at the school. But Dashiell is determined to prove everyone around her wrong, and show the people around her - students, teachers, and officials alike - that she has what it takes to play among them and exceed their expectations. I really enjoyed watching Dashiell fight for what she believed in and playing to her passion. Truth is, you don't see many female protagonists that are as likable and realistic as Dashiell. She's fiesty, funny, and quite confident. Matter in point, I wish that there were more like her in not only this genre, but beyond it. Dashiell faces quite many real issues in this novel, from finding a way to fit in as the new girl, working through rising tensions within her family, and being able to show other people that she has what it takes to play baseball, even to take them to becoming champions. I thoroughly enjoyed the alternating tensions, resolutions, and morals this graphic novel offered, and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a novel that will stay with readers who love sports, love high school stories, and love heroines who are winners outside of the game.Overall score: 4/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Oni Press.