Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Soccer

Head to Head

by (author) Jennifer Manuel

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Soccer, General, New Experience, Girls & Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 3
  • Reading age: 7 to 8


With characters who display diversity in ethnicity and leadership style, Head to Head is based in Victoria, British Columbia, and focuses on empowering girls to work together and develop leadership qualities. Readers will instantly recognize the struggle of dealing with someone they don't get along with as main character Emika struggles to connect with her co-captain on the soccer team named Maram. Rather than portraying others as inherently difficult and avoidable, Head to Head instead illuminates healthy relationships and teamwork, particularly for young girls.


About the author

Jennifer Manuel has achieved acclaim for her short fiction, including the Storyteller's Award at the Surrey International Writer's Conference in 2013. She has also published short fiction in PRISM International, The Fiddlehead, Room Magazine and Little Fiction. Author Diana Gabaldon describes Manuel's writing as “astonishing in its intimacy, delicate complexity and sense of compassion.” A long-time activist in Aboriginal issues, Manuel taught elementary and high school in the lands of the Tahltan and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. She lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

Jennifer Manuel's profile page


  • Nominated, Red Cedar Book Award

Editorial Reviews

"Manuel’s characters display diversity in both ethnicity and leadership style and must struggle with dealing with someone they don’t normally get along with. The book illustrates healthy relationships and teamwork throughout."


The British Columbia Review

"A good read about teamsmanship, fair play and winners and losers. Highly recommended."


CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Action-packed scenes on the field make for an accessible, engaging text for hi-lo readers."


School Library Journal

"Features a diverse cast of characters, including one with cerebral palsy, and the book celebrates confident girls in sports."


School Library Journal

Other titles by Jennifer Manuel