Gr 5-7-Irene Benenati, 13, is living in Italy with her family for one year. Because there are no girls' soccer teams in Merano, she must play on the boys' team. Daily, the teen faces the reality that she is an outsider in her father's homeland and an outsider on a team with a few boys who want her to quit. Nonetheless, this likable protagonist befriends the girls in her class and finally wins the respect of her teammates, even her arch detractor. What keeps this tale from being just another soccer story with play-by-play action is the unique setting; the inventiveness of the chapter headings, which consist of Italian words, pronunciations, and definitions; and Irene's determination.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.