Monday, June 17, 2019

The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson - NO

The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson, 210 pages.  GRAPHIC NOVEL First Second (Roaring Brook Press), 2019.  $20.  

Content: Language: PG (4 swears); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: G.  



Fifth grade Faith is excited to be invited on the soccer team by popular girl Amanda, but when Faith gets to the field she realizes that she is going to be on the C team which is not the popular kids.  The C team doesn’t have any skills and all of the players and the coach are distracted.  Middle school life is overwhelming for most of the girls and they all seem to be having their own kind of friend troubles.  Eventually while in the middle of a soccer game, they all decide to quit and go and watch television and eat pizza together at one of the girl’s houses.  

This book is all over the place.  Faith is the main story, but she often daydreams about this fantasy world where a knight builds a castle.  I felt like that was a bit random and didn't help the rest of the story.  Then there were random page spreads where it gave a glimpse into some of the girl’s lives from the team-one of which shows a girl picking her nose (gross) while reading a magazine.   I also had issue with the mature content where two girls are sharing a bed during a sleep over and one of the girl’s tells her friend that she is actually a boy and then they start kissing (these characters range in age from 5th-7th grade). There is a character whose page spread is all in Spanish with no translation.  Overall there are too many characters with too much going on and the lesson at the end was horrible-to quit soccer in the middle of a game, leaving the other team standing on the field, and go watch television as long as they were all friends?  That seems like an irresponsible way to handle the problem.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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