Foudy’s unrelenting sunniness may not illuminate everyone, but young athletes may find some empowerment here.



Foudy, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer, channels her connections and unfaltering positivity into a guide geared toward female athletes.

With a breezy, conversational tone and lots of cheerful doodles and eye-catching changes in type, Foudy introduces her “empoweRINGs,” a set of ideals represented as nested concentric circles. The core of these is “self,” followed by “team,” “school,” “community,” and, finally, the largest, outer ring of “life.” Each of these areas is then further broken down into chapters, explored, and followed by a short activity for readers. Foudy calls upon an impressive list of successful and notable women, including Robin Roberts, Mia Hamm, and Sheryl Sandberg, and also some lesser-known but equally captivating figures such as teen scientist Sophie Healy-Thow and Taliban survivor Fahima Noori to share their stories, struggles, and personal insights. In addition, Foudy adds an abundant smattering of quotations, personal musings, and peppy slogans (like “So choose to Lead. Because you can” and “Bring it AND sing it”) designed to inspire young girls. However, those not involved with sports may have a difficult time relating to both her optimism and anecdotes; for example her portion about school focuses largely on team dynamics in an athletic setting, only superficially examining such weighty issues as bullying, and offers little to help those grappling with other situations.

Foudy’s unrelenting sunniness may not illuminate everyone, but young athletes may find some empowerment here. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-368-00338-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: ESPNW

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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School violence revisited. In Todd Strasser’s Give a Boy a Gun (2000), the school-violence story was raw and powerful. Ron Koertge’s verse treatment, The Brimstone Journals (2001), kept the story innovative and fresh. Over 10 years later, Van Cleave’s debut novel in verse is a didactic rehashing with uninspiring poetry. Andy has already been bullied for the last six years, but his situation grows worse when he starts his freshman year at the same high school where his father works as a janitor. Noticing other losers, like “equal / opportunity / angry” Sue and bookworm Nicholas, the teen turns his attention to Blake, who has undergone a metamorphosis since losing his soldier dad in the Iraqi war. As rumors about STDs, alcohol and sexual orientation travel the corridors, nothing garners as much attention as the rumor that Blake is hiding a gun in his locker. To win favor with his crush, Becky Ann, Andy steals his father’s keys to open Blake’s locker and retrieve the gun. While he doesn’t find anything suspicious in the locker, he discovers that Blake does have a firearm and final plans for his classmates. At first, Andy’s knowledge and newfound friendship with Blake gives him “rebel courage,” but soon he realizes that he has a difficult decision to make as Blake’s date for destruction approaches. A concluding teacher’s guide confirms the intended use of this tired-feeling novel. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2186-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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