Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook #3: Sidelined

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook #3: Sidelined
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
August 06, 2019
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Gabby has gotten her team out of some tough jams on the mound, but when a freak accident temporarily takes her out of the game, she is at a total loss. Can Gabby still be Gabby if she's benched from the action?

None of it might matter, though, once she learns her family might move to another state. Gabby needs a game plan—and her playbook—more than ever!

Editor review

1 review
Moving- The worst that could happen
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Gabby travels from Peach Tree to Seattle with her family for a vacation, but it ends disastrously. Not only is it gray and rainy the whole time, but she trips over a hot dog at a Mariners' game and breaks her arm! Back at school, she's upset she can't play baseball, but she distracts herself by running for class president, even if she has to possible run against her sort-of boyfriend, Johnny. Just when she's made peace with her bright orange cast, her father announces that he is in the running for a job writing for a newspaper... in Seattle! This is the worst possible news, and Gabby and her brother Peter stop their normal sibling quibbling to band together to convince their father and Louie, their stepmother, that this is not a good plan. They try to enlist their grandmother, who is only proud that her son has the opportunity. They take their father to his favorite restaurant, which is run by a family that relocated happily. They even nominate him for the Peach Tree citizen of the year award, and more misguidedly, send a letter of interest to an Atlanta newspaper in their father's name. This gets back to the Seattle paper and imperils his prospects. In the meantime, Gabby has had to figure out several things at school, and decide what she will do if her family does indeed move.
Good Points
Gabby is a headstrong but well-meaning character who acts with typical middle school impetuosity. She and Peter are both convinced that leaving their hometown would be horrendous, and don't really think through what their father's job prospects are. They eventually realize that it is a rare opportunity, and regret their efforts at stopping the move. It's nice to see the two working together, and Gabby even opines that she had not really thought of her younger brother as an ally before.

There aren't as many details about sports in this volume, since Gabby has a broken arm, but that is a pity. I enjoyed details of her baseball and field hockey careers. I do enjoy her light romance; it's just the right touch for middle school.

Gabby's friends are a good supportive cast and try to help her with her plans, even if they think they are a little misguided. They also try to be positive when it looks like the move will happen. They are also supportive of her student body president run, and flesh out the story with realistic middle school activities and emotions.

Fans of the Dork Diaries will enjoy the plentiful illustrations, even if this story is much longer than those books. This is also perfect for readers who enjoy sports stories like Alex Morgan's The Kicks series and Aladdin's M!X books.
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