Saving the Team

Saving the Team

4.5 15
by Alex Morgan, Paula Franco
     
 

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From star soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan comes the New York Times bestselling first book in an empowering, fun-filled middle grade series about believing in yourself and working as a team.

Twelve-year-old Devin loves to play soccer. If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been namedSee more details below

Overview

From star soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan comes the New York Times bestselling first book in an empowering, fun-filled middle grade series about believing in yourself and working as a team.

Twelve-year-old Devin loves to play soccer. If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been named seventh-grade captain on her school soccer team.

But now that Devin is starting seventh grade in Kentville, California, all bets are off. After all, some of the best players on the US national team come from California. She’s sure to have stiff competition. Or so she thinks.

When Devin shows up for tryouts, she discovers that the Kentville Kangaroos—otherwise known as the Kicks—are an absolute mess. Their coach couldn’t care less whether the girls win or lose. And Devin is easily one of the most talented players.

The good news is, Devin quickly makes friends with funny, outgoing Jessi; shy but sweet Zoe; and klutzy Emma. Can Devin and her newfound friends pull together and save the team from itself?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
The author is an Olympic Gold Medalist in soccer and knows her soccer stuff. She also writes reasonably well. Devin, our heroine, and her family moves from Connecticut to California, where she starts seventh grade at Kentville Middle School. She is very anxious about trying out for the soccer team—after all most Olympic soccer players come from California. What if she is not good enough to make the team? An even bigger worry is how Devin will cope without her best friend, Kara. Sure she can still text her, but it is not the same. Devin does manage to survive the morning at her new school and at PE she makes friends with Jessi and Emma, who encourage her to try out for the soccer team. Unfortunately, they also tell her the Kangaroos are awful. When they get to soccer tryouts that afternoon, Devin discovers the team is horrible and worse, Coach Flores is all about having fun. Of course, there is one snarky, bullying girl who makes everyone uncomfortable. Everybody makes the team and everybody gets to play, no matter how bad. The Kangaroos are well on their way to another losing season, but Devin finally musters up the courage to confront Coach Flores and her non-coaching of the team. The coach realizes she can let everybody have fun, but also learn something about playing soccer. Devin and Coach devise a way to get each girl to play to her own strengths. A nicely told story which has some good soccer action in it. The book lends itself to discussions on team work and dealing with bullies and believing in oneself. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This formulaic story follows 12-year-old Devin, who has just left her friends and soccer team behind, moving cross country with her family. There is a lot of expected angst in the beginning of the story. Will she like her new school? Make new friends? And since California is known for producing superstar soccer players, will she even make the team? While quickly learning the ropes at her new school and instantly making friends-and perhaps even gaining a boyfriend-the plot twist is revealed: Devin's new soccer team isn't great at all-in fact, it is downright bad. Throw in a bossy/bully older teammate as cocaptain against Devin, and the rest of the blanks will be easily filled in by most readers. Despite its predictability, the novel conveys some solid messages about teamwork and assertiveness. Purchase where there is a demand for sports stories with strong female role models.—Lisa Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Olympic gold medalist Morgan runs down the celebrity-sports-fiction checklist in this series opener: New school? Check. New friends? Check. New boyfriend? Maybe! New soccer team? Check. Inspire said team to take on snooty archrival private school? Check. Quickly shedding perfunctory initial reservations, Devin sails into seventh grade at Kentville Middle School, makes instant connections in class and at Kangaroos soccer tryouts. She meets requisite bully Mirabelle at the latter, then goes on to be elected team co-captain. After a disastrous start to the season, she helps her team's members and even the less-than-rigorous coach land on the same winning page. Following a sleepover, a dance, team-building drills and exercises, pep rallies, minor problem-solving and motivational strategizing, Devin prods the Kangaroos into position to beat the haughty Pinewood Panthers in a climactic rematch while also schooling Mirabelle, who has jumped ship to join the rival team. Wholesome? Yes. Proper hard work and teamwork values in place? Yes. Paint by numbers? Oh, yes. (soccer glossary) (Fiction. 8-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442485723
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Series:
Kicks , #1
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
95,701
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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