Amanda and Lena have been soccer stars and best friends for years, but now, when Amanda makes the junior varsity team and Lena makes the varsity, Amanda finds herself increasingly shut out of her friend's life. Suddenly, everything Amanda took for granted is changing--but she's about to discover that might not be bad. Brendan Halpin's new novel is about friendship, family, soccer, and the confusing time when everything that used to feel simple suddenly feels complicated.
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BRENDAN HALPIN is the author of How Ya Like Me Now and Forever Changes, as well as a number of books for adults. He was a high school English teacher for ten years and presently teaches for Year Up in Boston.From School Library Journal:
Gr 7-9–Best friends Amanda and Lena have always been an unstoppable pair on the soccer field. Although ninth graders rarely make the varsity team, they are hopeful. But a recent growth spurt has caused Amanda to develop Sever's disease, a temporary disorder that causes significant heel pain and that has affected her game. It's still an unexpected blow, though, when Lena makes the cut and she has been relegated to JV. As much as the two girls try to pretend that their friendship won't be affected, it is; in addition to the different practices and games, Lena is socializing more with the juniors and seniors. Things come to a head when she asks Amanda to accompany her to a party so that she can meet up with a guy she likes. Unable to deceive her dad and stepmom, Amanda comes clean about the evening's activities, and Lena's parents find out where she really was. The dialogue is spot-on, and the characters are fully fleshed out. Amanda's loss of her mom when she was young and the resulting blended family are important threads. Her narration rings true with a captivating mix of teenage humor and insecurity. While there is plenty of soccer action for fans of the sport, the book will also appeal to teens looking for a solid friendship story. Halpin manages to convey the benefits of doing the right thing, but without preachiness.Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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