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Author: Johnson, Cathy G.
Although they are awful at soccer, Faith and her teammates soon form a bond both on and off the soccer field that challenges their notions of loyalty, identity, friendship, and unity. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.20
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 504137
Kirkus Reviews (01/15/19)
School Library Journal (02/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2019 The Bloodhounds sort of suck at soccer, but winning a game is hardly the point of this ensemble story that focuses on the sometimes-awkward, shifting bonds of middle-school friendship. When Faith signs up for soccer, which she’s never played before, she ends up on the C team and meets Sodacan and Marie, who introduce the rest of the players. From there on, nearly every Bloodhound gets a few pages to herself, and while that spreads the story a little thin and can make the plot a bit hard to follow, it also gives the players plenty of room to develop into appealingly fleshed-out characters. Accordingly, Johnson’s character designs, with coloring by Kevin Czap, are spectacular: the middle-schoolers vary greatly in size, skin tone, and body type, and Johnson’s clearly paid attention to how bodies move, since her characters’ gestures, facial expressions, and postures have as much to say about their personalities as do their words and actions. Readers looking for a soccer story might be disappointed, but kids after empowering, character-driven stories about realistic friendships will fall in love. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2019 Gr 4–8—Faith has just joined the Bloodhounds, the middle school girls' soccer C team, made up of the least skilled players. But this isn't one of those heartwarming sports stories where an inspirational coach rallies the underdogs to victory. Instead, these Dogs lose every game and feud with one another while the coach spends most practices on his phone. Vignettes show the players' varied home lives, interests, and friendship dramas. Sketchy full-color artwork features characters with exaggerated expressions. Faith and her teammates are diverse in body type and ethnicity. One player comes out as trans and another as queer during the course of the story, and both have supportive friends. Readers who like a touch of romance will enjoy seeing two sweet relationships blossom on the page. Realistic scenes of school, soccer practice, and sleepovers are interspersed with Faith's daydreams about adventures on horseback with a handsome butch royal messenger named Mathilda, who inspires Faith to unite her misfit teammates, team or no team. VERDICT A down-to-earth friendship story for readers of Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward, Jennifer L. Holm's Sunny Side Up, and Raina Telgemeier's Drama.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.