Library Journal Review
Gr 6-9-Just before the end of eighth grade, Tessa and her two friends show off their running skills in a town road race and catch the eye of the high school cross-country coach. Tessa loves cross-country, but lately, she's been drawn to football. She joins the summer league with the guys, but all ends horribly when she drops the winning pass that ends their season. Tessa is heartbroken that football seems to be over for her and comes up with a brilliant idea: she'll attend football camp. Short chapters told in the alternating perspectives of Tessa and Caleb, her next-door neighbor, keep the plot moving and the story intriguing. Caleb offers readers an inside look at what the guys really think about having a girl on the football team. Further drama comes from engaging secondary plotlines that center on friendships, family dynamics, and relationships. This is a great next choice for readers who have enjoyed Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen and Miranda Kenneally's Catching Jordan. VERDICT Starting with the appealing cover, this book will be an easy sell to middle school readers, especially those who love sports.-Jennifer Rummel, Cragin Library, Colchester, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Tessa loves football, and she's been honing her skills with cute boy-next-door Caleb. She's always accepted that she'd have to opt for something other than football, like cross-country, to participate in school sports. But now that she's getting ready for high school, she wants to make some decisions for herself, so in spite of her demanding parents' wishes, she insists on going to football camp. Heldring alternates between Caleb's and Tessa's perspectives, nicely exploring their struggles with self-determination, family conflict, and the importance of teamwork as well as their efforts to balance their burgeoning relationship with the pressures they each encounter regarding Tessa's football dreams. Meanwhile, Tessa faces extra scrutiny her mother is running for mayor, so her football aspirations put her at the center of a local media frenzy. Though Caleb and Tessa's voices occasionally sound quite similar, there's enough fast-paced football action, realistic family drama, and sweet romance in this slim novel that readers looking for girl-powered sports stories should find plenty to like.--Pino, Kristina Copyright 2017 Booklist