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Author: Feinstein, John
Told in two voices, Jeff stands by his teammate, Andi, who fights to get on the sixth-grade soccer team and then must face opponents who target her for being a girl.
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/19)
School Library Journal (08/16/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/16/2019 Gr 4&6-A soccer story that shoots toward female empowerment but misses the goal. Jeff knows that Andi Carillo, the only girl trying out for Merion's 6th-grade soccer team, is one of the best players he's ever seen. So, when the list goes up and Andi is cut, Jeff brings in his TV sports reporter Dad to cover the story. All the attention gets Andi on the team, but their coach's resentment puts both of them on the bench. The question is how to get off of it. Jeff and Andi are poorly developed characters who only show growth on the field. Although writing about strong female soccer players is important, Andi shows no depth beyond her ability to make great passes and score goals. The story is rooted in the male gaze; no one would know of her greatness if not for the help and acceptance of her male counterparts and coaches. VERDICT A mediocre sports book for avid soccer fans. Not recommended.-Rebecca Fitzgerald, Harrison Public Library, NY - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2019 Jeff and Andi are super excited their sixth-grade classes now get a chance to play sports at their school. Unfortunately, Andi wants to play soccer, and there is no girls' team. The coach reluctantly allows her to try out, and despite her being one of the best players, he refuses to give her a spot on the team. Jeff finds this unfair—they could stand a chance at making it to the championships with Andi on their team—so he asks his sports-reporter father to feature her story. Viral backlash causes Coach Johnston to give Andi a spot; however, she faces discrimination from the coach, some fellow teammates, and other soccer teams, which means her victory is far from over. Feinstein's series opener doesn't offer any new ground to the girl fights to be on boys' sports team story, but he writes engaging characters and offers readers in-depth play-by-play sports action that results in a fun, fast-paced story that will appeal to readers who can't get enough sports fiction. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.