Four friends • Four sports • Four books
I wrote the 4 for 4 series of middle-grade novels thinking about the reader I was at that age. I wanted to write about four friends who are nuts about sports and the challenges they face on and off the field. The series spans the time from the spring of their fifth-grade year, through the summer, and then into middle school. Each book focuses on a different sport: baseball, soccer, football, and basketball.
Just before they’re due to start middle school, Jackson, Gig, Isaac, and Diego, four sports-loving friends, all attend the same weeklong soccer camp. Diego is an experienced soccer player, and Gig has a natural ability for the sport he never realized. But Jackson and Isaac are split into another group of players—a group with younger, smaller kids. For the first time, both boys aren’t the stars of their team. In fact, they can’t seem to get a handle on soccer. At the same time, Jackson is having a hard time getting a handle on his mom’s deepening relationship with her boyfriend, and her suggestion that they move in with him. And Gig is worried about his father’s deployment to Afghanistan.
Here is a story about how life, like sports, can be unpredictable, frustrating, and exhilarating.
2011 Choice Book of the Year
of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center