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MADCAT by Kathy Mackel

MADCAT

By Kathy Mackel

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-054869-X
Publisher: HarperCollins

MadCat is really Madelyn Catherine, but a star player of Fast Pitch Softball needs a tougher name. Her easygoing team enjoys winning, but they also play for the sheer joy of the sport. Now they have joined a league that has national level competitions and everything is more intense. The new coach encourages winning at all costs, including deliberately courting injury. At home, she’s worried about her father who is struggling with the debilitating effects of MS. MadCat narrates her own story, and Mackel wisely allows her to be both wise and naïve, filled with fear and bravado and totally confused about the behavior of her teammates and the adults surrounding her. Some subplots appear out of nowhere and then fizzle out, but MadCat is an engaging character and many of the travails she encounters are believable and reflect some of the more troubling aspects of children’s organized sports. A solid hit. (Fiction. 8-12)