|Bea is for blended|
Author: Stoddard, Lindsey
Bea and her mom have always been a two-person team. But now her mom is marrying Wendell. As if finding her place in her new blended family isn't tough enough, Bea's also facing her first year of middle school, where she's stuck in class with not just Bryce, but Aileyanna-a new girl with a fancy soccer net in her front yard and a killer left foot.
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/21)
School Library Journal (06/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2021 It will never again be just Bea and her mom—the Embers girls—after her mom marries a man with three boys of his own and her family is blended. Her new stepbrother, another sixth-grader named Bryce, got Most Valuable Player in their coed soccer team last season, while Bea received the Most Valuable Girl award, even though she’s the stronger player. That unfairness ignites a fire in Bea, along with a group of other girls, to challenge the school administration to create an all-girls soccer team. Stoddard’s characters are fully formed in her latest book, and the themes of family and equality run throughout. Bea is a spitfire of a main character up against an antagonist readers can cheer against—a coach who does not treat girls the same as boys. His despicable behavior is also demonstrated by his treatment of a deaf character who joins the soccer team. A fun read for soccer fans, with some nail-biting games included. Readers who enjoyed Andrea Montalbano’s Caught Offside (2017) will want to check this one out. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2021 Gr 4 Up—Bea's life has centered on her mom, grandmother, and aunt Tam. Now she has to handle a stepdad and three stepbrothers, one of whom is her nemesis from school and the soccer field. Bea juggles complex emotions as she deals with moving, sharing her mom, and coping with Bryce, the stepbrother she tries to ignore. Bea's old life revolved around the women in her family, her best friend Maximilian (who is neurodiverse), and her fame as a soccer star. She doesn't need anything else, except the all-girls soccer team that her school has promised. However, more conflict is on the horizon, in the form of a new soccer-star neighbor girl and the school principal/soccer coach, who is not a fan of the spunky protagonist. A twist midway through includes a new soccer player who uses American Sign Language. Stoddard's dialogue is readable, the story is well paced, and the characters are endearing. The character development highlights overlapping strengths and weaknesses among the various players, all building to create a rich community of schoolmates and family. Bea and Bryce slowly realize they have some common emotional bumps and bruises as they each grow in unexpected ways. Characters' skin tones are not described. VERDICT A little bit coming of age, family drama, sports hype, and school shenanigans all rolled into one for an appealing read.—Linda Annable, Newport P.L., OR - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.