Review: SPIKED: You've got to stay in to play
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)
Sometimes it takes a hard lesson to learn who your real friends are. Emma is an eighth grader who finds out that she can either be popular or a jock but never both.
Emma used to be into sports in a big way but after becoming friends with two other girls in her class- Hailey and Claire, she puts sports aside because her friends like clothes, make up and boys and think its YUCKY to be involved in sports and sweat from playing.
But after an incident that gets Emma roped into volunteering for the girl’s volleyball team, she begins to feel pressure to play again, not only because she is the tallest girl in her class, but because her coach believes she can be a real asset to the team.
Discord between her friends happens when they find out that she has turned into a jock. Her friend Hailey becomes a huge bully towards her, and tries to set her up in the theft of Emma’s coach’s gym bag. There is also a bit of bullying on the volleyball team on the part of the volleyball team captain because she believes that Emma doesn’t really want to be there, and she needs everyone to be a team player and work together for the team.
In the end, Emma learns that it is important to be herself and not only go after what she wants, but to not be afraid of changing. She gains new friends on the volleyball team and she regains her friendship with Claire after they both realize that Hailey is a bad influence on both of them.
Spiked is a part of the Lorimer Sports Stories Series, and is for readers age 10-13. It is published by James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers and is 117 pages long. www.lorimer.ca