Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Maddy doesn't find it easy adjusting to grade nine. The friendships and loyalties she took for granted in middle school are being challenged, and there's so much more competition on her track team now.
When Maddy stumbles across a friend being bullied behind the school after a track practice, she suspects something nasty is going on. So when Coach announces one of the team members has been robbed, she realizes the two incidents must be connected. Everyone on the track and field team is under suspicion. How can the team function with so much uneasiness among its members? Maddy realizes the only way to bring the team together again is to make some changes.
About the author
Deb Loughead is the author of more than twenty-five books for children and young adults. She completed an English degree at the University of Toronto before working as a copy editor. She turned to creative writing after deciding to stay home to raise her three sons. Deb's books have been translated into seven languages, and her award-winning poetry and adult fiction have appeared in a variety of Canadian publications. In addition to having extensive experience with educational writing, Deb has conducted workshops and held readings at schools, festivals and conferences across the country. She has written and directed children’s plays and taught creative writing classes for adults in Toronto. Deb likes to spend her non-writing time reading, knitting or hanging around horses as a therapeutic riding volunteer. Deb lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit www.debloughead.ca.
- Commended, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Quick Picks
"Realistic and well-paced, it should appeal to fans of the Orca Sports series."
Tucson Unified School District
"This high-interest, low-reading-level title balances slow pacing with a well-developed story as bullying, theft, and surrounding secrets add challenges for Maddy, her friends, and their entire track team. Loughead explores the importance of friendship, communication, forgiveness, standing up to bullying, truthfulness, and doing the right thing in this timely story, and readers will empathize with the subtle misunderstandings that lead to Maddy's alienation from her old friends, while cheering for her as she tries to set things right."
"Moves at a moderate pace and uses clear, straightforward language...A good read for a student who is not sure what to expect of the transition to high school, or who is experiencing anxiety over the transition, and for those readers interested in reading about sports and athletics."
"Loughead has created rich and evocative characters in Maddy, Kat and Shauna. Their struggles are universal and explored with insight."