If you have a pulse, you will love this book. Whether you are from Brooklyn, Boston or Bangladesh, you will love this book. Whether you are Jewish, Catholic or Athiest, you will love this book! Pete Hamill does a fabulous job of harkoning us back to a simpler time (Brooklyn, circa 1947) without making us think that it was Utopia. The lead characters, Michael Devlin and Rabbi Hirsch, both are longing for acceptance and companionship. The Rabbi lost his wife in the Holocaust. Michael, the 11-year old protagonist of the story, lost his Father in the Battle of the Bulge. An unlikely meeting leads to a mutually beneficial relationship. The Rabbi fine tunes his English and learns the magical appeal of the game of baseball through the boy's teachings. Michael is equally enriched by falling under the spell of the Rabbi's stories and the Yiddish language. As outsiders, both revel in the exploits of Jackie Robinson, who breaks baseball's color line with his combination of skill and grace. Unfortunately, the duo learns that all is not wonderful and safe in postwar Brooklyn. A gang called the Falcons and their leader, Frankie McCarthy, intervenes with menacing intent. The gang inflicts serious beatings on the Rabbi and the boy and with threats of worse consequences lingering, Michael has to turn to his belief in one of the Rabbi's parables to save the day. It is a beautiful tale of friendship. Both lead characters are extremely likeable. The theme of overcoming all odds is exhilirating. Take the leap of faith and enjoy this wonderful novel.