Thirteen-year-old African-American Bed-Stuy native and double Dutch fiend MaKayla has one goal this summer: to make it to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden.
After her team, the Double Dutch Jets, qualifies for regionals, MaKayla is sure that this will be her chance to win. But her bickering parents dash those hopes when, after another shouting match, they announce that she and her little brother will be spending the rest of the summer in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their aunt and uncle. Not only will MaKayla be separated from her team, she will be living with Sally, her archnemesis and princess cousin. When she arrives, however, she starts to discover that the South is not what she imagined. At Charlotte Sports Day Camp she finds another opportunity to do double Dutch and have a second chance at Madison Square Garden. But between her cousin and two misfit double Dutch novices, she is not sure they can get competition-ready. Plus, Sally’s old teammates on the Bouncing Belles taunt them every chance they get. Spicer-Dannelly’s debut novel is a fun, well-paced read bubbling with energy and charming, diverse characters. MaKayla’s frustrations and tomboy-tough attitude generate the friction necessary to spark interesting conversations on bullying and self-esteem. Although the brief and singular mention of MaKayla’s faith sounds an odd note, it does not hinder the plot.
A sincere story of friendship, camaraderie, and family. (Fiction. 8-12)