"I love being on this bus with all these girls who play sports, even if Sally Fontineau, who wants to ruin my life, is half a bus in front of me. It’s not like every girl is my best friend. It’s just a thing I feel a part of. It makes everything different."
No one asks Ella how she feels about moving halfway across the country in the middle of her sophomore year. But she ends up in Texas anyway, without plans for the weekend or friends to guide her through the alien campus of her new private school. So she decides to try out for the softball team—and she makes it! Now if only she knew how to throw, hit, and field the ball. "This is the part you can’t read in a book. You just have to do it." Ella has a lot to learn—on and off the field.
Softball changes Ella’s life, for better and for worse. She discovers a confidence she never knew she had and makes new friends—and enemies. When Ella falls for her snotty teammate’s gorgeous brother, suddenly she isn’t just fielding balls, she’s also dodging evil glares from girls in class and on the team.
If Ella’s going to survive this year, she’ll have to set some ground rules and learn to stand up for herself—in the game and in her life.
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Weezie Kerr Mackey grew up in a suburb of Chicago, where she began her sports career. Later, while studying English literature at Trinity College in Connecticut, she continued her athletics, playing field hockey, squash, and softball. After college, she took a job teaching P.E. and coaching girls’ field hockey, soccer, and softball at the Greenhill School in Dallas, which became the inspiration for Ella’s story in Throwing Like a Girl, her first novel. Equipped with an MFA in creative writing, she now writes, works, and lives in Wilmette, Illinois, with her husband and their two sons. Visit the author's Web site: http://www.weeziekerrmackey.comFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 5-9–When Ella and her parents move from Chicago to Dallas in March, she resigns herself to finishing her sophomore year without friends. Her first-person narration of week one at Spring Valley Day School realistically portrays the insecurities of being the outsider amid well-established cliques. Things fall quickly into place for Ella, though: she gets matched up with Nate, a popular senior, for a marriage project in her Behavioral Science class, and although she has never played team sports, the coach recognizes her natural athletic ability and encourages her to try out for softball. The plot is predictable: underdog team starts out slow but comes together through perseverance and hard work to shine by season's end. While Nate is everything a girl could hope for, his younger sister Sally (also a softball player) takes an instant dislike to Ella and tries to sabotage the budding relationship, adding a bit of tension. The story is formulaic and most of the characters remain two-dimensional, but the action moves along at a brisk pace. Mackey's love of the game clearly comes through and the themes of friendship and sportsmanship are strong. This is feel-good chick lit that will appeal to reluctant readers and sports fans.–Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
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