Aside from the shared experience of sitting along the first base line at Ebbets Field, I don't quite remember Brooklyn the way Alan Lelchuk does in "On Home Ground," a short, sweet novel for young adults.
The Brooklyn I recall was not sunshiny days, Checker cabs and chocolate egg creams. It was turbulent, rough, sweaty and a nice place to move away from--fast.
Nevertheless, a sort of wistful, misty nostalgia--nicely captured in a series of illustrations--informs the story. It's 1947, "Double Indemnity" is playing in movie theaters, and Jackie Robinson is burning up the base paths while breaking the color barrier for Branch Rickey's Brooklyn Dodgers.
Nine-year-old Aaron Schlossberg reveres the Negro sensation--and holds his strict Russian father increasingly in contempt. His dad dresses in heavy Old World suits and clings to "Stalinist" avocations ("chess, soccer, Chaplin"), which earn him the label "commie" around the neighborhood.