December 11, 2012

BSC #110, Abby the Bad Sport: Soccer Hooligans

Posted in books tagged , at 8:29 pm by Jenn

Erin, we need to talk about your hair

Erin, we need to talk about your hair

Summary: Abby’s invited to play on a soccer team for both “regular” teen girls and Special Olympics players. And it turns out Abby thinks she’s really awesome at soccer because that’s what she was always told when she lived on Long Island. But the team, Stoneybrook United, is about working together, not spotlighting any one player, so she has to play defense, which means she most likely won’t be making any goals. She’s ticked about that, as well as the fact that Erin, the Special Olympics player who gets Abby’s old position, is so good.

Abby and Erin quickly develop a rivalry, and it goes too far when Abby calls Erin stupid. The girls get benched for fighting, and Abby’s so embarrassed that she doesn’t tell anyone. Even the BSC girls! Who are supposed to tell each other everything! She also hasn’t told them how upset she is about an upcoming trip back to Long Island to visit her father’s grave, which Abby winds up bailing on because she’s still struggling with his death and her mother hasn’t heard of counseling, I guess.

Kristy finds out about Abby being benched (from Karen, who found out from Erin) and gets mad because she didn’t say anything. I don’t know, it’s a stupid fight. Why does Kristy even care? Abby takes forever to learn anything from the experience, continually reminding her coach how good she is in offense and showing off to her teammates. Her coach is amazingly patient, because I would have told her to cut that out right away.

Slowly Abby begins to realize they point of the team. She also starts to see the game differently now that she’s playing a different position. She and Erin are still competitive, but they eventually apologize to each other and recognize the good things about each other. There’s also some connection there to Abby and her father’s death, but it’s kind of flimsy.

The B-plot is sweet: The BSC girls and some of their charges learn that Stoneybrook United doesn’t have a sponsor or money for uniforms, so they form a Booster Club and raise the money. They also come to all the games, and the Krushers’ cheerleaders cheer for the players. It’s pretty cute.

Thoughts: This book explains soccer as if the readers are the ones with mental retardation.

However, I do like how the characters with mental retardation are written. Other than talking and acting a little younger than their ages, they’re not much different from the “regular” characters. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between them. And I like how the “regular” players treat them like they’re all “regular.”

So Abby’s in therapy, right? Because she really, really needs it.

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