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Saving the Team (The Kicks Book 1) Kindle Edition

54 customer reviews

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Length: 178 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 - 7

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Complete Series

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-This formulaic story follows 12-year-old Devin, who has just left her friends and soccer team behind, moving cross country with her family. There is a lot of expected angst in the beginning of the story. Will she like her new school? Make new friends? And since California is known for producing superstar soccer players, will she even make the team? While quickly learning the ropes at her new school and instantly making friends-and perhaps even gaining a boyfriend-the plot twist is revealed: Devin's new soccer team isn't great at all-in fact, it is downright bad. Throw in a bossy/bully older teammate as cocaptain against Devin, and the rest of the blanks will be easily filled in by most readers. Despite its predictability, the novel conveys some solid messages about teamwork and assertiveness. Purchase where there is a demand for sports stories with strong female role models.-Lisa Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In the Kicks series opener, gifted seventh-grade soccer player Devin Burke is trying to adjust to California life and a new school while missing her best friend Kara and her soccer team back in Connecticut. Things improve after she joins the Kentville Kangaroos girls’ soccer team—nicknamed “The Kicks”—and befriends teammates Jessi, Emma, and Zoe. But the Kicks are disorganized; cheerful Coach Flores emphasizes fun over winning (or even improving); and there’s a talented but mean fellow player, Mirabelle. But when Mirabelle transfers to soccer powerhouse Pinewood, it’s an opportunity for Devin to get Coach and her team on board with building skills, spirit, and confidence—hopefully before the fast-approaching rematch with Pinewood. U.S. women’s soccer team player and Olympic medalist Morgan’s enthusiasm for the game is evident throughout this light and lively contemporary read. Though there are some predictable story elements, Devin is an appealing protagonist whose peppy first-person narrative incorporates abundant soccer details, along with familiar themes of making friends and the value of teamwork. Appended glossary includes game-related terms. Grades 4-7. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Product Details


More About the Author

Alex Morgan became the youngest member of the US women's national soccer team in 2009 and competed in the 2011 FIFA World Cup. She was the first overall pick in the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer daft and landed a spot on the US Olympic Women's Soccer team in 2012. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, held in London, Morgan won her first Olympic medal, a gold, with the American team. The team beat Japan, 2-1, in a match watched by nearly 80,300 people--the largest soccer crowd in Olympic history. THE KICKS: SAVING THE TEAM is Alex's first book for young readers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anne Lewis on May 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is great to have a quality 'Girls Team Sports' fiction book for the 8 and up set to recommend! Elementary school libraries could help fill a gap in their collections with this title! Also, nice to have a 'girl' protagonist who is good in Math!! Alex Morgan's 'character, 'Devin' provides young girls with a new type of role model; One who is refreshingly smart, a helpful team-player on and off the field, and a positive problem-solver.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bobbie Mohney on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great story, we had the opposite experience on our home team, a girl from california came to play soccer in new york, she went from practicing daily to once or twice a week, she couldn't come to grips with how different it was around here and I was worried for the main character because I know the girl from california has more talent, but it wasn't pure talent that made her fit in, you just have to find what works for you, cannot wait for the 3rd book to release.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read every night to my two kids and let me tell you, some of the children's books out there today (especially those geared towards girls!) are really bad. My daughter loves everything girly including fairies, princesses, and ponies. She naturally picks out princess-type books for use to read and many times I've had to stop in the middle because there was an entire chapter dedicated to describing the clothing the fairies were wearing.

Not so with "The Kicks" series-what a breath of fresh air! My daughter also plays soccer and she was intrigued to read a book about a girls soccer team, but what I love most of all was the lesson that was taught throughout this book. The main character, Devin, finds herself in a tough situation and being laughed at by other classmates making fun of her soccer team. Did she give up? No! She stood up to the bullies and came up with plans to make the team stronger. This book left such a lasting impression on my daughter that I can now remind her what Devin did in the face of all her problems and that helps her try to solve her own problems too.

Thank you, Alex Morgan, for writing such a wonderful series of books! Morgan's writing is funny, thoughtful, and has great character development. I found myself looking forward to reading the book as much as my daughter did. This week, my daughter had to dress up as a book character for a school parade...who do you think she went as? Devin, of course-pink headband and all! I definitely recommend this series for any child or adult.

p.s. My 5 year old son enjoyed the book as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By twilightgirl on July 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book. I love the glossary of soccer terms so that even if you don't play soccer you can understand and enjoy reading this book. Can't wait to read book 2.
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By Shawn on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Got this for my niece for Christmas. She would call me daily to update me on her progress in the book and tell me the lessens in the book. ie. a girl didnt do well in her class so she couldnt play, so she worked hard and got a better grade on her test and got back on the team.
I didn't read the book before hand, so no first hand experience, but my little one was 1) excited to read through this book and is already onto the next one 2) telling me the lessons in the book and 3) Asking for more

So what else could you want in a book?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Rodriguez on July 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 10 year old soccer star loves the books. We have the complete series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter LOVES these books by Alex Morgan and cannot wait for the 3rd one to ship in March! It takes a little while for her to get into each story line but once she does she can't put the books down!

The fact that she's watched Alex play soccer and that my daughter also plays select soccer makes her feel the books are written just for her and she loves it!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Starting seventh grade is difficult enough, but moving from one coast to the other AND starting seventh grade is even harder. Twelve-year-old Devon navigates moving away from her friends, figuring out the differences between California and Connecticut (much less preppy) and finding her place in this new life of hers. Much of how she gets by is through playing soccer --- it's her passion --- but many of the best soccer players on the US national team are from California. Will she be good enough to make the team?

Very quickly, she learns that the answer is yes. Although the girls' team at Kentville used to be unstoppable enough to be nicknamed the Kicks, the Kangaroos are definitely not the winning team they used to be. Devin is welcomed onto the team (and even voted cocaptain) by fellow seventh graders Jessi, Zoe and Emma who are all earnest players but each have their flaws: Jessi has poor grades, Zoe is extremely shy and Emma is super clumsy. However the eight grade captain, Mirabelle, is less than friendly and creates a division between the grades and spends more time boosting her own soccer skills than helping anyone else on the team.

Devin is thrown into all kinds of moral quandries. Does she follow Mirabelle's lead to exclude a player from an important game all for the sake of winning? Can she talk to her coach to help improve the team's play and still keep it fun? Will their soccer team ever be recognized as proudly as boys' team is?

Alex Morgan, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist on the US Olympic women's soccer team, writes a book to which both sports-crazy and book-loving girls can relate. Each member on the Kicks has a distinct personality and it would hard not to find yourself in some teammate.
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