Kirkus Reviews QR Code
OFFSIDE by M.G. Higgins


From the Counterattack series

by M.G. Higgins

Pub Date: April 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4677-0720-6
Publisher: Darby Creek

As a soccer player, student and frequent baby sitter, Faith feels beset with responsibilities.

Higgins’ story, a title in the Counterattack series featuring members from the Fraser High Copperheads soccer team, focuses on junior Faith. Her father’s death a few years previously has profoundly affected Faith’s family, both emotionally and economically. Faith often cares for her three younger siblings during the afternoons and evenings when her mother works late-night shifts as a nurse. Until recently, playing on her school’s soccer team has been a refuge for Faith, but lately she has been feeling increasingly disconnected from her teammates. When her coach suggests switching her position on the team to playing midfield, it invigorates Faith’s game. Faith also appreciates the additional instruction she receives from her coach during this transition, but this also leads to resentment from Caitlyn, an envious teammate. When Faith secretly develops an inappropriate crush on her coach, Caitlyn takes notice, taunting Faith. Higgins adeptly reveals Faith’s solitude: Isolated from her peers, struggling academically and with weighty family obligations, Faith is bereft of confidants. However, the swift resolution to the escalating troubles between Faith and Caitlyn and the tale’s conclusion leave readers hopeful about Faith’s future.

Higgins’ briskly paced tale, skillfully alternating the drama with the sports, will capture readers’ attention. (Fiction. 12-18)