Morgan, Alex. The Kicks: Saving the Team
7 May 2013, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Devin moves from the East coast to California. She's an avid soccer player, and afraid that the California players will be much more talented than she is, but finds that her school team, the Kentville Kangaroos, has not been doing very well. She is glad to be on the team, and is made a cocaptain with the evil Mirabelle. She manages to make new friends in fellow players Emma, Jess, Frida, and Zoe, and works hard to help the team out. The players feel that Coach Flores doesn't work them hard enough or take the game seriously, and Mirabelle and Devin try to put together a more impressive line up. This doesn't work, and Mirabelle makes the team members angry. She then leaves and goes to the rival Pinewood school. The girls decide that more drills, and a lot more determination, are the way to turn the team around. Can they pull together and finally win a crucial game... against Pinewood?
Strengths: Lots of good soccer details, girl drama handled with finesse and a few fashion details thrown in-- this will be a great choice for my girls who are avid soccer players. I especially like the cover illustrations because the girls look strong and athletic, not ridiculously thin. (Similar cartoons on The Take Two series or the Candy Apple books make the girls look thinner than is realistic.)
Weaknesses: I suppose that some schools still relegate girls' teams to less than desirable practice locations, but I don't want to believe that this is the case 40 years after Title IX.
Morgan, Alex. The Kicks: Sabotage Season
3 September 2013, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
From Goodreads.com: "The Kicks’
championship hopes are being sabotaged in the second book in a series
that celebrates confidence and teamwork, from star soccer player and
Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan. Things are going wrong left
and right for the Kentville girls’ soccer team, and Devin’s sure the
girls from their rival team, the Pinewood Panthers, are behind the many
mishaps. Can Devin get to the bottom of the mystery and stop the
sabotage before her team’s championship hopes disappear for good?"
Papademetriou, Lisa. Sugar and Spice (Confectionately Yours #3)
1 February 2013, Scholastic Paperbacks
For those of us who aren't big sports fans, this is a less exhausting book to read while kicking back and drinking lemonade on the porch. I admit to not processing the plot as well as I should because I was so blown away by the ease with which Papademetriou writes dialogue. Awesome. This series is worth waiting for in a prebind so it holds up a bit better in a library.
From Goodreads.com: "
her little sister, Chloe, and their mom have finally settled into their
new home above their Gran's tea shop. But things at school aren't so
peachy. Hayley's former best friend, Artie, is back in the picture and
getting between Hayley and her new pal Meghan. Artie and Meghan are like
oil and water -- they just don't mix! This looks like another recipe