Spring is in the air—a change the energetic bug-fancier Cody’s so, so ready for that other, unheralded changes in her life take her by surprise.
Accepting that she’s outgrown her red spring jacket feels like abandoning a faithful friend. While Cody’s been trying to coax her ant colony into the sunshine, her friend Pearl has had two sleepovers with Madison, who’s persuaded Pearl to sign up for a combined boys-and-girls soccer league. Pearl wants Cody to sign up, too. Though Cody’s cautious friend and neighbor, Spencer, warns her soccer means getting bonked on the head and bossy Madison is not Cody’s favorite person, she signs up. Once coach Yazmin determines she’s left-footed, Cody proves adept at dribbling, unlike Pearl. Still, Madison is the team’s unquestioned star player, and Pearl’s her acolyte. Spencer’s family is changing, too; will there be room in his crowded house for a new baby? Why is he creating a museum under his front porch? Navigating tricky friendship ups and downs is a challenge, but Cody’s older brother, Wyatt, remains her stalwart supporter, and her long-distance-trucker dad offers timely, sage advice. Accepting the inevitable and powering through are the enjoyable lessons tucked into the fourth installment of this sturdy series set among a diverse collection of friends and neighbors. (Cody and Madison appear to be white, while Pearl is Asian, Spencer is black, and the affectionately nicknamed Coach Y! has dark skin.)
If change must happen, Cody’s good company. (Fiction. 7-10)