Recess All-Stars (Invincible Girls Club #5)

Recess All-Stars (Invincible Girls Club #5)
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Release Date
November 15, 2022
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Lauren and her three BFFs show football and other sports aren’t just for boys in this fifth installment of the relatable and empowering The Invincible Girls Club chapter book series that fans of The Baby-Sitters Club series will love!

It’s career week in Miss Taylor’s class! When Lauren says that she wants to be a football announcer, some of her classmates laugh and ask how she could work in a sport she can’t even play. Lauren is bummed out, especially since she knows a ton about football. She feels even worse when she wants to play kickball at recess and the boys won’t let her join their teams.

Instead of backing down, Lauren, Emelyn, Ruby, and Myka challenge them to a game—boys against girls. The prize: control of the kickball field during recess. But when Lauren’s competitiveness comes out at practice, the BFFs start to butt heads, and Lauren starts to wonder what she really wants out of this. Can the girls get ready for the big game? And will Lauren decide what’s worth fighting for?

Editor review

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Girl Power On and Off the Field!
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Lauren, who worked with a local dog shelter in book one of The Invincible Girls Club series, Home Sweet Forever Home, is back, and super enthused abotu several things! Her class is having a career week, and she has several great ideas about careers to investigate. She's also very insistent about righting what she feels is a wrong at her school during recess: only the boys use the kick ball field, and they won't let the girls on it! After staging a protest, wherein the girls rushed to the field right after lunch and staked their claim, she and the other girls challenge the boys to a competition. Whoever wins will have unlimited access to the field. Until then, they take turns using the field for practice. Brady, one of her classmates, is not happy with the fact that the girls are making their feelings known, and also makes fun of Lauren's idea for a career choice-- a sports announcer. Since Lauren doesn't play football, he asks, how can she possibly announce games? Lauren contacts local sports announcer Charley Mosk and asks if she can shadow him. He goes one better and asks Lauren to come and help him cover a local Timber Wolves game! In the meantime, the girls practice, but there is a learning curve. At first, Lauren is overly serious, and yells a lot at practice, which doesn't make playing very fun. She consults her stepbrother, Carter (who is a cross country runner) about games that the girls could play that would be team building exercises that would also help improve skills related to kick ball. She also talks to her uncle and his partner, who run the Sprinkle and Shine bakery, and incorporate some sweet treats into their practice regime. Ruby, Emelyn, and Myka all help with practices, and the girls at school anxiously await the game. Lauren helps with the football game coverage, which is a little nerve wracking, but goes well. It also leads to a spectacular project. When the day of the showdown finally arrives, will the fate of who uses the field lay solely with the winners? The end of the book includes one page biographies of pioneering women in sports.
Good Points
Alpine, who has also written the older middle grade sports books You Throw Like a Girl and Friday Night Stage Lights, does a great job of empowering her characters to make changes in the world around them by harnessing their Girl Power! I love that on her web site she even has a patch program where girls can read one of the books in this series, do one of the activities in the back, and apply for a patch! ( I would definitely have been saving up my babysitting money for one of those when I was in middle school!

I love that so many "best practices" are in play here. Lauren's mother and stepfather are so committed to family dinners that two nights a week Scott packs up dinner and the family eats it in the van between Carter's practices! Sweet treats are for special occasions, but these happen frequently. Even the resolution of the war between the boys and the girls is handled well, and everyone is a winner win the children are all able to play nicely together.

I'm a huge fan of books with Children Who Do Things, and this is a great example of girls having goals and working hard to acchieve them. I haven't read any but this book and the first one, but definitely have to find Quilting a Legacy and check out how the girls work sewing into their lives! If this is the sort of book that appeals to you, take a look at Coco Simon's books about cupcakes, sundae shoppes, and doughnuts, as well as these series: Deutsch's Girls Who Code, Sheinmel's Kindess Club, and Soderberg's Daring Dreamers Club.
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