There’s “plenty of soccer action” in this story of a middle schooler who has to figure out how to balance good sportsmanship with the goal of winning (Booklist).
Eighth-grader Nate Osborne is a forward on his U-14 soccer team, the Strikers. He and the rest of his teammates are very competitive—especially when it comes to their rivals, the Monarchs. They want the Monarchs to lose so badly that they’ll even root against them when they play other teams.
Then, during a game between the Strikers and the Monarchs, a boy on the opposing team gets injured, and Nate must decide between going for a goal or kicking the ball out of bounds as an act of sportsmanship. His aunt, who’s also a soccer player, has taught him the importance of fair play, but when Nate stops the clock and sacrifices his chance to win the game, his teammates just don’t understand.
From the author of the Sports Stories and All-Star Sport Stories series, as well as the kids’ sports column “The Score” for the Washington Post’s KidsPost section, Out of Bounds is an entertaining and thoughtful tale about young athletes striving to become not only great players, but also great people.