Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy - With my search for sports books featuring girls, I have been finding some real gems, like this one. When Cassie was 7 she was the star of the peewee football team. After the divorce, Cassie's dad stopped going to her games and she stopped playing. Now Cassie is a 13yr old, track star but she still loves football. Cassie's parents have been divorced since she was 9. she's an expert in parent divorce speak.
"Nonsense. I'll be there to cheer you on this afternoon. Have I ever missed any of your games or meets unless I really had to? Her question needed no answer. Mom did go to almost all my track meets. However, I knew what she was really asking me Didn't you notice that I rearranged my work schedule so that I could go to all of your meets, but your dad couldn't be bothered? Haven't I been the better parent? Children of divorced families get to be fluent in a language we wish we never had to learn."
Cassie does her best to keep a happy balance between her parents. After the divorce Cassie's father entered Alcohol Anonymous. This fact was a happy surprise, not many middle grade books talk about parents in AA. Now Cassie's father is remarried and she has a stepbrother.
The middle school team want 2 and 7 last year. Beef the team coach, ask Cassie and another girl, Molly to tryout. For runningback and kicker respectively. Cassie's parents don't like the idea of her playing football. Cassie's mother comes around first. Lucky for Cassie, the football coach is her dad's best friend Beef convinces him to let Cassie play. Cassie takes a lot of grief from the boys on the team. All of Cassie and Molly's friends, athletes as well support their decision to try out for football. I fell for Tackling Dad a little more when I discovered two girls were trying out for football. Cassie didn't have to go it alone. It nice to read a middle grade book filled with female athletes. If its a group of friends there is normally only one athlete. The football's very good. I even learned a new term
"What's a snot bubble? I asked him. "It's when the linebreaker hits you so hard whi his helmet that the snot literally bubbles out of your nose," Dad explained. He stood up, brushed himself off, and wiped his nose.
Levy's created a very likable character in Cassie. Tackling Dad was a real joy to read.