(C) Ages 8-10, (D) Ages 10-12, Book Reviews, Boys, Christian, Middle Grades, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction
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Making the Team by Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore

making the teamMaking the Team by Stephanie Perry Moore and Derrick Moore. Alec London Series. Lift Every Voice Books (a Moody Imprint), 2011. 160 pages.

  • Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12
  • Recommended For: Ages 8-10, especially boys

Bottom Line: Alec London learns to trust God in the midst of parent issues, friend issues, and sibling issues in this realistic fiction chapter book series.

Alec’s parents have split up—just temporarily, they say, but Alec is worried nonetheless. Mom is following her dream to be an actress out in California, and Dad is the new assistant principal at Alec’s elementary school in Atlanta. This is a “worst case scenario” for the start of a new school year. To top it off, his close friend Morgan is suddenly acting more like a girl—which means “weird” to Alec. And his friend Trey is also acting a little off.

When Alec beats his older brother Antoine out for a key football position on their new team, things go from bad to worse. Alec wonders how things can possibly be more miserable. And then his grandmother shows up to “take care of them.”

Throughout this chapter book, his friends speak up to Alec about their own beliefs and how Alec’s actions are affecting others. (Trey’s dad is the Falcons football team chaplain, and Morgan’s stepdad is a pastor.) Alec begins to go to church more regularly, and in the end, he really does want to trust the Lord.

I needed to be like Joseph and trust God. My job was to pray for my parents and trust God to help them work it out.

This is a chapter book series with a message, but the authors do a great job of mixing authentic “issues”  and real life events with strong Christian themes. Alec learns to curb his quick words and reign in his thoughts. Word searches and information on the game of football will engage some reluctant readers. The end of the book includes some helpful discussion questions as well as a mini-grammar review on sentence construction. A great choice for anyone working with after school programs or in tutoring environments, this series is also a fun choice for young football lovers.

Cautions: none

Overall Rating: 4.5

  • Worldview Rating: 5
  • Artistic Rating: 4

Categories: Middle Grades, Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Christian, Sports, Character Values, Life Issues

cover image from amazon

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