"The neat thing about this book is the realistic characters, and the detailed way they are described so you can picture them in your mind... Cynthia Bates has written a book full of tenderness and friendship."
- Linda Uhlenkott
Mikayla's strongest events are the 100 and the high jump, but her coach wants her to try out for the pentathalon, where she will compete against Amelie, the winner from last year. Amelie is a year older and much more self-confident than Mikayla. As Mikayla trains for the pentathalon tryouts, especially for the high jump, she struggles to convince herself that she can do as well as Amelie. Things at home are not smooth either. Mikayla is black, but her foster parents are white. She must come to terms with her feelings for her mother and her sister as well as her foster parents at the same time that she tries to do well in school. While this story is not meant to be inspirational, it does show young readers that goals are worth struggling for. As Mikayla begins to resolve the chaos in her life, the reader is led to understand that he or she, too, can come to terms with life's problems, big and little. Mikayla is a role model for any middle school reader, but she may well inspire minority children, especially those who are black. Mikayla's Victory presents these readers with a strong and unsentimental story.