Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Review of "A Season of Comebacks," by Kathy Mackel

 Review of

A Season of Comebacks, by Kathy Mackel ISBN 0698116372

Four out of five stars

Sibling rivalry when one is the best

 Allie Burrows is the best softball pitcher in the state and her team is expected to win the state championship in their division. Allie is twelve and her sister Molly is ten and a good player in her own right. They play on teams in different divisions, so at the start there is no direct on-field rivalry. Yet, from Molly’s perspective, Allie gets all the attention, from paternal to the news media.

 Their father is the coach of Allie’s team and is demanding of Allie and her teammates. While the other members of Allie’s team are themselves high quality players, the focus is always on Allie. Molly is of course jealous, but she has her best friend Christopher, who keeps  Molly as level as possible.

 Things decline when Allie gets braces and is very self-conscious of that fact. The situation continues to get worse when players are injured, and Allie’s team cannot find a catcher capable of handling Allie’s deliveries. The solution presents itself and while Allie’s team does not make it to the championship, all involved discover bonds and aspects of themselves that they were unaware of.

 This is not an instance of the standard “win the big game at the end” sports story. While it is about youth sports, it is more about keeping familial relationships intact. Although there is a clear message that “wait until next year” is not simply an idle boast. It is a good story about not letting sports dictate your entire life, especially when your age is barely into the double digits.

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