cover image Offside


M.G. Higgins. Lerner/Darby Creek, $7.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-4677-0720-6

In this entry in the new Counterattack series, written at a fourth-grade reading level and starring members of the Fraser High girls’ soccer team, Higgins brings readers into the world of Faith Patel, a junior balancing the demands of schoolwork, the team, and a complicated home life. Faith already feels like a social outcast because helping out her mother and siblings takes up any free time since her father died. But things get particularly tricky when both Faith and a jealous teammate misinterpret their coach’s interest in Faith’s progress as romantic in nature. This slice-of-life story touches on a range of issues facing teen girls, while maintaining a breezy pace and delivering sharp, authentic dialogue and engaging soccer action. Simultaneously available: Archenemy, The Beast, Blow Out, Out of Sync, Under Pressure. Ages 11–up. (Apr.)