Summary: Match Point
Rosie’s dad wants her to play racquetball even though she says she wants no part and has no interest. He used to love it when he was a kid and he pushes Rosie to improve by constantly critiquing her game. But Rosie has a bad attitude about the sport because of the pressure he puts on her.
Blair is a new student with a warm family who are all into racquetball and Rosie wants her to compete in her behalf. But as Rosie hangs out with Blair’s family away from her father’s harsh supervision, she realizes what it means to play for fun.
This book has a unique illustration style that I really liked. I also loved the plot. I’s rare that I have no idea where a graphic novel is taking me, but this one just surprised me, page after page. Rosie starts out as a really grumpy character and readers may first think of her as uncooperative or hard-to-please, but as the story progresses, it’s easy to understand her feelings about racquetball.
Blair’s entry changes a lot for her and their friendship is the best part of this story. I loved that there was such a lovely focus on friendship and relationships between the girls in this story. There are no mean girls and everyone mostly gets along. Rosie has a nemesis on the court named Erika. Erika is Deaf and loves to “trash talk” to motivate her competition. It was so cool to see the sign language representation in a graphic novel! One of Rosie’s classmates is also a child of deaf parents.
Of course, there’s all the delightful sports action. Blair’s family loves to play racquetball for fun and their inviting Rosie to play with them shows them another side to sports: learning to just enjoy things without the pressure of being the best, and having healthy competition.
Overall: Match Point
Match Point is a delightful graphic novel about racquetball, female friendship, and the value of true sportsmanship. Featuring an underrepresented sport in middle grade books and a diverse cast of characters, I foresee this being a quick favorite for many kids. If you like graphic novels about sports, friendship, and dynamic characters who grow throughout the story, this is a very satisfying one to pick up.
Here are some specifics to know about the content.
- Death: None
- Alcohol/substance abuse: None
- Violence: None
- Ethnic: Blair’s family appear Black, one of Rosie’s friends wears a hijab
- Sexual orientation: Main characters cued straight
Recommended for ages: 8+
Good for kids who like:
- Sports graphic novels like Swim Team
- Books about female friendship
- Books centering father-daughter relationships
|Publisher details||First Second|
|Publication date:||September 19, 2023|
|Page count:||256 pages|
|Cover artists | Designer:|