Brooklyn NY 7th-grader MaKayla is into Double Dutch, competition jump-roping with two ropes. Just when her team qualifies to go to the national competition, her parents’ marriage threatens to fall apart and she is sent with her younger brother to live in North Carolina with relatives for the summer.
Her aunt sends her and her cousin to a sports camp where, surprisingly, Double Dutch is an option. She puts together an unlikely team that proves to be so good it gets sent to the national competition, where Kayla, as she is called, performs against her Brooklyn team.
This book addresses issues of bullying, forgiveness, overcoming fear, not judging by appearances, and prizing people’s individual gifts (to name a few themes). The book is tightly, efficiently written and is a fun read. I scrupulously tagged words or references that could even remotely offend someone, but in truth I found nothing ugly in this book. It is appropriate reading for teenagers.
For the first time, for me, in reading YA fiction, I came across a couple of brief, non-preachy references to the motivating power of religious faith. Wow, what a nice surprise to see this mightily-neglected topic rear its head in contemporary fiction.
Buy this book for your libraries and give lots of copies away as gifts.