Heat Summary & Study Guide

Mike Lupica

Heat

  • 55-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 28 chapter summaries and 5 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a literary scholar with a Master's degree
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Heat Summary & Study Guide

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 55-page guide for “Heat” by Mike Lupica includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 28 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like Age in Relation to Adulthood and Baseball as a Bronx Cultural Rite.

Plot Summary

Heat is a young adult novel written by Mike Lupica and published in 2006. Focusing on the Little League baseball culture of New York City, the novel follows Michael Arroyo, a pitching phenom and Cuban immigrant, as he pursues a trip to the Little League World Series.

Michael and his brother, Carlos, recently lost their Papi from a heart attack. They keep his death a secret out of fear that government officials will separate them. An elderly woman in their apartment building, Mrs. Cora, acts as their adopted grandmother, watching over them as Carlos works multiple jobs to provide for the family. Still, the boys fear that authorities will discover them before Carlos turns 18 and can serve as Michael’s guardian.

Everyone in Michael’s neighborhood in the Bronx loves the Yankees. Everyone seems to live for baseball. And Michael, star pitcher of the Little League Clippers, is no different. But when an opponent, Justin, on the Westchester South team conspires with his father to bring Michael down, he begins to worry that his secrets will haunt him.

Justin and his father gather other Little League coaches to insist that Michael show his birth certificate and prove that he, a pitcher who can throw 80 miles per hour, is really 12 years old. Michael’s coach, Mr. Minaya, protects Michael and reminds him that these adult men are “grown-ups who act like children” (98). But this doesn’t change the anxiety Michael feels as Mr. Gibbs, an official, and others begin to demand his father’s presence. Although Michael tells everyone that his father is tending to his sick brother in Florida, he knows that this secret will not last.

On top of Mr. Gibbs’ pressure, other officials begin to pressure Michael about his father’s whereabouts. Mr. Amorosa, from the Bronx city hall, wants to award Michael for his role in stopping a robbery in the city. But Michael is afraid that attending the ceremony without his father will only draw more suspicion.

Together with his best friend, Manny, Michael creates a plan: Manny’s uncle poses as his father, to bring Mr. Gibbs off his tail, and Mrs. Cora accompanies him to Mr. Amorosa’s office as his replacement grandmother. Even with these problems solved, Michael is still upset. First, he still cannot play baseball, barred for lack of birth certificate. And second, the first girl to whom he’s been attracted, Ellie, is mad at him, after he immaturely confronts her for keeping the secret that she is the daughter of his hero, El Grande, star pitcher of the New York Yankees.

As the Clippers approach the finals, Michael maturely takes on the position of third base coach. One day, when they play Justin’s team again, a crowd interrupts the game, led by Ellie and El Grande. They come bearing Michael’s birth certificate. Michael and Ellie are able to make amends, and Michael takes the field again. The Clippers come from behind to win, earning a spot in the New York City playoffs, played at Yankee Stadium.

All of the figures who support Michael are present at Yankee Stadium when he starts the championship game. Not only that, but Michael also recognizes his absent father’s “ghost” (220) with him, guiding him to throw some heat on the field of his dreams.

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Chapters 1-3