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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Ride High with the Wave by Sharon K. Solomon is a great story with meaningful lessons for young readers and great inspiration for older folks, a tale of friendship that develops through unusual circumstances. Two kids from two different backgrounds find themselves in a difficult situation as backstroke rivals on the Dolphins swim team. The two kids aren’t fond of each other. Hiro Kojima’s move from California to Pittsburgh could have been easier, except he is hated by Ted Richman. But when the swim meet date changes to Saturday, both Hiro and Ted know they may not be favored for the backstroke position as both of them are occupied on Saturday. Ted is Jewish and he attends the Sabbath on Saturdays with his family, while Hiro goes to a Japanese school on Saturdays. Follow their story as Ted and Hiro learn that they’ll need to work together, and what happens next.
Sharon K. Solomon’s story is a breezy read, filled with situations that people face in real life. I started loving this book from the moment Ted complains to his mother that Coach has changed the swim meet, explaining that the new kid would take the position. The crisis is dire for the kids and readers understand how strongly attached they are to their cultures. It is also interesting how they transition from being rivals to becoming friends working for a common cause. The family visits that they explore transport readers into the Jewish as well as the Japanese culture. The writing in Ride High with the Wave is impeccable and readers will enjoy the themes of family, friendship, and teamwork that are so well developed in the story. The characters are well-explored too, and it doesn’t take long for readers to love them. This novel is as entertaining as it is inspiring.