by Kelsey Blair
Lorimer Press, 2018
$12.95, 128 pp, ages 10 – 13
This high-interest, low-vocab story had me hooked from the beginning. The reader follows Malia through her grade 9 year of high school as she learns to make tough calls as a basketball player, referee, friend, and member of a family. Readers learn in the end that big decisions aren’t easy, but don’t have to be made alone. Set in a middle school in Vancouver with a strong female protagonist, the development of characters and relationships is realistic and relatable. Malia risks losing her sister’s respect and her friendships, and is in danger of making enemies at her school when she tries to be fair as a basketball referee. Readers can see why it’s hard to make the right choice at all times, but also how the rewards are greater in the end for doing the right thing.
Classroom Connections: Great for sports enthusiasts, struggling readers, or as a read aloud. Reading Comprehension Strategies: Making Predictions, Making Connections, Transforming.
Review by Amanda Forbes.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Fall 2019 issue.