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Top of the Order

by John Coy

Published by Feiwel and Friends, 2009
182 pages
ISBN: 978-0-312-37329-0

Ages 9 - 11

When a girl joins Jackson’s fifth-grade baseball team, the boys have mixed responses. Sydney is the sister of Jackson’s best friend, Gig. And Gig is furious that Sydney—who excels at everything—is moving in on the one thing he feels he does well: baseball. Jackson wants to support Gig, but Sydney is talented, too, and the team needs her, although most of the players are unwilling to welcome her. This unexpected tension during baseball season is compounded by other looming changes in the lives of Jackson and his friends, including humorous rumors and poignant fears about the pending terror of middle school. John Coy’s novel is first and foremost a sports story with plenty of baseball action to savor, but it also offers insight into pressures big and small in the lives of its characters. Coy avoids an easy resolution to the drama of whether this group will come together as a team, although the sexism Sydney faces among some of the opposing teams’ players and coaches does help spur reflection on the part of her teammates. CCBC Categories: Fiction for Children  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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