Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2013 After a rocky season start, Kentville Middle School’s girls soccer team, the Kangaroos—aka the Kicks—has steadily improved and may even get to the play-offs. Seventh-grade cocaptain Devin Burke and teammates, including friends Jessi, Emma, and Zoe, are really excited. Then a series of mishaps and misfortunes starts hampering efforts and dimming hopes: Devin’s soccer gear mysteriously disappears; Zoe gets injured; scheduling snafus keep delaying practices. When disruptions continue, the girls start wondering if events aren’t coincidences but someone trying to ruin their tournament chances. With play-offs nearing, the Kicks must stay focused and also identify and stop the perpetrator. But are their suspicions misdirected—and is retribution the right answer? Despite some conventional plot elements and routine characters, this is an entertaining, breezy read. Devin’s lively first-person narrative incorporates plenty of soccer and daily-life details while highlighting themes about the importance of teamwork, good sportsmanship, and maintaining perspective about what matters—from playing your best to friendship. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2013 Gr 4–6—The Kentville Kangaroos, a California middle-school soccer team, return. Devin is a cross-county transplant, but as a serious student and zealous cocaptain, she aims to lead her team to victory through drills, hard work, and extra practice. The Kicks find themselves unexpectedly within reach of the playoffs. Then minor troubles crop up, and they can't help but suspect sabotage. Through her nightly video texting with her Connecticut buddy, readers follow Devin's interactions with boys, soccer, a little sister, and other distractions like an exploding soccer ball, damaged team materials, and scheduling mix-ups. Devin's narration sounds artificial, but overall this book is a good choice for girls looking for mysteries or stories about sports or friendship.—Glynis Jean Wray, Ocean County Library, Toms River, NJ - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.