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There's a Girl in My Hammerlock

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Thirteen-year-old Maisie joins her school's formerly all-male wrestling team and tries to last through the season, despite opposition from other students, her best friend, and her own teammates.


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Thirteen-year-old Maisie joins her school's formerly all-male wrestling team and tries to last through the season, despite opposition from other students, her best friend, and her own teammates.

30 review for There's a Girl in My Hammerlock

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rena Jane

    Just finished this excellent young adult story. Spinelli has done it again -- spun a story I could hardly put down and that pulled all the loose ends together without tying them too tight. Maisie is an athletic type junior high girl. She was Athlete of the Year, playing on the basketball team, but she didn't really like basketball, so now she's going out for wrestling. Spinelli wrote this in 1991, when girls were just beginning to break into sports that had been the bastions of boys only for so lo Just finished this excellent young adult story. Spinelli has done it again -- spun a story I could hardly put down and that pulled all the loose ends together without tying them too tight. Maisie is an athletic type junior high girl. She was Athlete of the Year, playing on the basketball team, but she didn't really like basketball, so now she's going out for wrestling. Spinelli wrote this in 1991, when girls were just beginning to break into sports that had been the bastions of boys only for so long. My students don't seem to think it's any big deal, for a girl to wrestle, but I can remember when it was unheard of, and can imagine parents saying many of the things the newspaper reports in this story. Parents claiming it's unladylike, and accusing the school of promoting pornography and teaching immorality. Maisie is a typical teenager, with a crush on a boy, a best friend who betrays her, and a very supportive mother. Her journey into self-discovery, and forging her own path, are enlightening and inspiring. Spinelli tells Maisie's story with fidelity, pathos and humor. I'm eventually going to have to collect all of his work. He's always an enjoyable read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ilsa carnation pie Bowen

    This was a really good book, it was certainly a page turner. The story is about a girl named Maisie Potter who joins her school's wrestling team. For a girl to be on the wrestling team is a big deal. Everybody is talking about Maisie and there are a hundred rumors going around about her. But Maisie is a very tough and strong person, so even though EVERYBODY is gossiping about her she still goes to wrestling practice. Even when people boo for her at the wrestling meets she still doesn't quit. By j This was a really good book, it was certainly a page turner. The story is about a girl named Maisie Potter who joins her school's wrestling team. For a girl to be on the wrestling team is a big deal. Everybody is talking about Maisie and there are a hundred rumors going around about her. But Maisie is a very tough and strong person, so even though EVERYBODY is gossiping about her she still goes to wrestling practice. Even when people boo for her at the wrestling meets she still doesn't quit. By joining the wrestling team Maisie had to go through alot., Her best friend wouldn't hang out with her because of all the rumors. People thought she was crazy, her older brother teased her and more. This story tells people to do what they want to do even if it's out of the norm and people think you're crazy. Maisie was also very determined at one point she wanted to quit wrestling because of how hard the practices were, but she still kept going to practice even when the rumors were flying and when the practices were hard.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I LOVE THIS book it's so inspirational and it makes me want to do things that seem impossible. I have read a little more in my book. I have discovered that Maisie's nickname is slime because she gets out of pins easily. She also got a new pet, it's a hooded rat. I have finished my book... i loved chapter 33. but i hated what Eric did to Maisie in the car!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I think I read this all in one night. Maisie deciding to try out for the wrestling team seems like mostly a whim based on a crush, and in the process of making the team and falling in love with wrestling, she discovers who her true allies and friends are. The bullying/backlash that she deals with is the main drama of the book, and it's both sad and interesting to see the many forms that it takes (losing friends, getting characterized as a slut, guy wrestlers not wanting to wrestle with her and/o I think I read this all in one night. Maisie deciding to try out for the wrestling team seems like mostly a whim based on a crush, and in the process of making the team and falling in love with wrestling, she discovers who her true allies and friends are. The bullying/backlash that she deals with is the main drama of the book, and it's both sad and interesting to see the many forms that it takes (losing friends, getting characterized as a slut, guy wrestlers not wanting to wrestle with her and/or not taking her seriously and letting her win, opposition from parents/community members...). She's a spunky character to root for without seeming unrealistic or like a caricature of an athletic girl. Throughout the course of the book, she endures a lot, (view spoiler)[and I feel like I'm noticing a pattern here with Spinelli and romantic relationships never getting fulfilled/working out... but again, that is realistic (hide spoiler)] . Not the deepest take on this topic, but considering that it was published in 1991 and a girl joining wrestling would still seem pretty edgy, decently well done.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Schoening

    One of Spinelli's great sports novels, There's a Girl in my Hammerlock is a story about Maisie and her journey as the schools only female wrestler. Originally hoping to join cheerleading, Maisie barely misses the cut, so in order to get closer to her middle school crush she joins the wrestling team. Her work does not come easy, facing adversity from, parents, coaches, and teammates, Maisie powers through and does not give up on the sport she eventually comes to love. The novel is very relatable One of Spinelli's great sports novels, There's a Girl in my Hammerlock is a story about Maisie and her journey as the schools only female wrestler. Originally hoping to join cheerleading, Maisie barely misses the cut, so in order to get closer to her middle school crush she joins the wrestling team. Her work does not come easy, facing adversity from, parents, coaches, and teammates, Maisie powers through and does not give up on the sport she eventually comes to love. The novel is very relatable to JUV readers, not only girls, but any of your students interested in sports would find aspects to connect to. It would also be great for teachers who want to talk about issues of gender with their students. Maisie wrestling breaks the community, but she does not give up. Many great conversations could be had with students about what is expected of men and women and how these traditions are steeped in our culture.

  6. 4 out of 5

    B. Zedan

    This book was one of my favourites when I was a kid who was not into the world of dating that was looming inevitably on the horizon, the way Maisie felt about her crush on a boy—a mixture of disgust and curiosity—was familiar. There's also a couple of things that I didn't even realise I latched onto until way later in life that I am almost certain Spinelli did not intend to include, but when you're an isolated queer kid you will read what you need into anything. I have a way longer review over on This book was one of my favourites when I was a kid who was not into the world of dating that was looming inevitably on the horizon, the way Maisie felt about her crush on a boy—a mixture of disgust and curiosity—was familiar. There's also a couple of things that I didn't even realise I latched onto until way later in life that I am almost certain Spinelli did not intend to include, but when you're an isolated queer kid you will read what you need into anything. I have a way longer review over on my blog, but in short: this is a solid little story about recognising your own value, hard as it is when you're a young teen.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Grooms

    There's A Girl In My Hammerlock is one of Jerry Spinelli's more ambitious works that tackles the tough theme of gender role expectations for young women (which I can imagine was even tougher in 1991 when this book was published). The book ultimately succeeds because this theme doesn't overwhelm the voice of the narrator, 13 year-old Maisie Potter, who joins (and sticks out) the boys' wrestling team for reasons even she doesn't fully understand. As usual Spinelli's character-crafting shines in Ma There's A Girl In My Hammerlock is one of Jerry Spinelli's more ambitious works that tackles the tough theme of gender role expectations for young women (which I can imagine was even tougher in 1991 when this book was published). The book ultimately succeeds because this theme doesn't overwhelm the voice of the narrator, 13 year-old Maisie Potter, who joins (and sticks out) the boys' wrestling team for reasons even she doesn't fully understand. As usual Spinelli's character-crafting shines in Maisie's internal dialogue, which feels honest and true-to life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meowkel

    "That got a smile out of him, even a laugh, but he wanted to keep moving. Which was fine with me, because the best part was just the walking itself, the being together." I love how this book speaks so much about sexism and sex/gender roles. It's just sad that what happened in the book is very common in our society. Another thumbs up for Jerry Spinelli.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trev Hill

    When you consider that female wrestling was not allowed in the Olympics until 2004 (after 100 years of Olympic wrestling) it is easy to see why this book is interesting (having been written in the early 1990s). 13 year old Maisie trades school basketball for the wrestling team and finds herself enduring the mockery and disdain of boys, girls and adults alike. Some nice humour and insights.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Kinda amazing how a male writer nailed the feelings and reactions of a girl who doesn't want to grow up, and doesn't want to start liking guys, but finds herself with a ridiculous crush on one of them. As always with Spinelli, the characters are wonderfully well-developed and believable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I'll admit I sped through this one and did not read word-for-word. But I enjoyed Maisie's perspective and trials. Gotta love (and ache for) Tank. Hope to add a few of my favorite quotes later.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yuliza Z

    LOVED THIS BOOK

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Foster

    I really enjoyed this one. To this day, wrestling is a male dominated sport in American high schools. When a girl steps into that, what happens? This does a great job of showing some of those struggles and triumphs.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lexi

    I didn't love this book because I just didn't like the story line. At the beginning it was ok, but then it just kind of lost me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have read this at least once before, and I remembered the ending being ambiguous, but it's not at all! It's very hopeful! I enjoyed reading it again.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    "But feelings, they don't care about telling. They just go right on, piling on top of one another like a big sandwich." —There's a Girl in My Hammerlock, P. 12 Jerry Spinelli is so good a writer, it's unfair. His writing touch is as light as meringue and twice as sweet; it glitters through the words on every page of his books like diamond dust. Each time, I find myself breathlessly caught up at the climaxes of his stories, caring deeply for the people that he has created, because they have bec "But feelings, they don't care about telling. They just go right on, piling on top of one another like a big sandwich." —There's a Girl in My Hammerlock, P. 12 Jerry Spinelli is so good a writer, it's unfair. His writing touch is as light as meringue and twice as sweet; it glitters through the words on every page of his books like diamond dust. Each time, I find myself breathlessly caught up at the climaxes of his stories, caring deeply for the people that he has created, because they have become so vividly alive to me. Jerry Spinelli can make you think along lines that you never thought would resonate within you. He can take plot lines that have no apparent connection to your life, and through the universality of human emotion make what happens in the narrative hit home as if you were reading your own life story. That is simply remarkable, and it's what Jerry Spinelli does best. How many boys would expect to identify with a girl who wants to try out for the wrestling team? How many girls would think that a book about wrestling would appeal to their personal literary tastes? Yet There's a Girl in My Hammerlock is so sweetly and candidly written, I can hardly imagine anyone walking away from reading it without feeling that the book has positively impacted their life. As with most books by Jerry Spinelli, There's a Girl in My Hammerlock thrives more on the emotions of the characters than on the events that take place. These are very textured, realistic characters, and their emotions significantly affect the way that they view their world and live their lives; in turn, this has a major impact on what will end up happening to each of the characters as the plot advances. Even the secondary characters (like Tank, for one shining example) are immaculately drawn, showing the capacity for amazing things even as our attention is primarily directed elsewhere. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing, and I didn't stop enjoying it for one single paragraph. Though Jerry Spinelli gives us plenty of wrestling action, I would stress the fact that this really is not a wrestling book. Like every one of Jerry Spinelli's offerings, it's an observational book about life, letting us see within a few days of an adolescent girl who is confused about her life and the changes that have come and the changes that are still on their way, as she continually fights her way forward through all of it to try to give herself the best life possible. It may not be migrant farm workers under an oppressive regime, but it is utterly compelling to anyone who themselves has faced the battle of living in modern times. Remember this, though: Masie's choice to try out for the wrestling team does not lead her down an easy road, and Jerry Spinelli refuses to cheat the integrity of her story by making the path any smoother, or even by giving her a clear vision of why she desires to try out for the team. Even Masie really doesn't know the answer to that one, and the mish-mash of confusion only grows as times get tough and Masie begins to see her real friends draw around her in a vibrant, if almost imperceptible, circle of caring support. I love There's a Girl in My Hammerlock, and I would with much fondness recommend it to anyone.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    It's the story on a girl believing in herself (P.s.: & believe...........) It's the story on a girl believing in herself (P.s.: & believe...........)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    An open letter to middle school students hoping to cheat/look smart: Look no farther. (view spoiler)[Spoiler alert: Read the book. Seriously. If you read the book, and then read this, you will look smart. If you just read this, it's only going to ruin the book for you. I'm SO totally, like... not. even. joking. So, click on this spoiler link if you read the book. It will help you look smart. Yeah, you'll probably have to think about the answers a little bit, but I'm not asking them as "right or wro An open letter to middle school students hoping to cheat/look smart: Look no farther. (view spoiler)[Spoiler alert: Read the book. Seriously. If you read the book, and then read this, you will look smart. If you just read this, it's only going to ruin the book for you. I'm SO totally, like... not. even. joking. So, click on this spoiler link if you read the book. It will help you look smart. Yeah, you'll probably have to think about the answers a little bit, but I'm not asking them as "right or wrong" type questions, you know? I don't know if it's cheating or not. Lets hope not. (view spoiler)[ Here are some good questions you could ask: Who was Maisie's best friend? I mean, who was her real best friend? Out of the adults in the story, who handled the situation the best? If you were one of the guys on the wrestling team, and your dad pulled you off the team, what would you do? Ok, we all realize what Eric did at the end was wrong. But just how wrong was it? He had been reading the signals, and lets face it: being a middle schooler is awkward. The rules for how to bring about kissing aren't fully established yet. Obviously, he missed his chance with Maisie. But would they have worked out if he was a gentleman about it? Which brings me to my next question: did he even like Maisie? If not, what other reason might he have had for going to the mall with her? And how lucky did Maisie get at the end of the story? ...Seriously. How would the story have changed if Tank had been killed? Can we understand why Maisie yelled at him? ...Just something to think about. Will Maisie wrestle next year? I'm betting on no: She'll become better friends with Tina, and Tina will talk her into playing basketball again. But I think you can make a pretty good argument that she'll be there... What was the difference between the way her mom handled the various situations, and the way her dad handled them? Which method would you have preferred? Why? These are the types of questions you need to bring up in class. Of course, you have to have your own answers formulated ahead of time. And you have to bring them up appropriately. Good luck with that. It's tricky. (hide spoiler)] Seriously, I hope you weren't let down by that if you clicked on it. (hide spoiler)] All that to say: I liked the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katie Fitzgerald

    When Maisie Potter doesn’t make the cheerleading squad, she decides to try something completely different, and tries out for the wrestling team. Though no one tries to stop her from trying out, Maisie is the first girl in her school’s history to join an all-male sport. When she makes the team, suddenly the other members are awkward around her, and boys from other school forfeit their matches rather than wrestle against a girl! It is only through the support of her parents and her fair-minded coa When Maisie Potter doesn’t make the cheerleading squad, she decides to try something completely different, and tries out for the wrestling team. Though no one tries to stop her from trying out, Maisie is the first girl in her school’s history to join an all-male sport. When she makes the team, suddenly the other members are awkward around her, and boys from other school forfeit their matches rather than wrestle against a girl! It is only through the support of her parents and her fair-minded coach that Maisie makes it through the season and proves that great wrestlers can be boys or girls. Co-ed sports are much more common these days than they were when I first read this book as a middle schooler. Back then, I can remember that many gym classes were still divided by gender, and that when the boys worked on a wrestling unit, the girls practiced either Tae Bo or self-defense. I was not at all a sporty kid, but I liked Jerry Spinelli, so I’m sure my decision to read the book had to do with his name on the cover more than anything else. Still, Maisie is such an irresistible character, it is no surprise to me that I grew so attached to her that I bought a paperback copy of this book and carried it around in my backpack for months. I also remember really liking that Maisie had a preschool little sister - and it drove me nuts that I never knew what P.K. stood for. Though there is a fair amount of romance in this book, and a lot of catty gossip about a popular girl named Liz Lampley, both of which might appeal exclusively to girls, the sports material makes it equally appealing to male and female readers. Though much of the story focuses on how Maisie is treated because she is a girl, there is also a lot about team building, trying one’s best, and competing to win. Though some of the gender issues might seem odd to today’s kids, who might very well have female classmates who do wrestle, the politics of middle school, and the excitement of performing well at a sporting event, will ring true for kids now as they did for me in the early 1990s. Old-School read-alikes for There’s Girl in My Hammerlock include There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar and Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Newer read-alikes about sporty girls include American Girl’s McKenna books, the Go for Gold Gymnast series, and the Dairy Queen books by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Manna_Sue

    High school read, don't remember it now, really, except that I liked it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sholape C. Tinubu

    Incredibly heartwarming.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melody Savage

    A humorous story about a girl named Maisie who goes out for the high school wrestling team and how she deals with all the ramifications of her choice of sports. Spinelli's treatment of difficult gender, physical growth, and physical attraction issues exacerbated by extraordinary circumstances works because humor is his powerful tool. He helps youth explore awkward situations without making judgments for us by focusing on the funny aspects of situations. I laughed out loud many, many times! Some p A humorous story about a girl named Maisie who goes out for the high school wrestling team and how she deals with all the ramifications of her choice of sports. Spinelli's treatment of difficult gender, physical growth, and physical attraction issues exacerbated by extraordinary circumstances works because humor is his powerful tool. He helps youth explore awkward situations without making judgments for us by focusing on the funny aspects of situations. I laughed out loud many, many times! Some parents may question co-ed contact sports and wonder if teens will take this book as a nod in favor. If both teens and parents read the book, the reading can spark discussions of family and personal values. There is controversy because the book asks us to question what it means to be male and female, which is closely tied to deep rooted beliefs and traditions. Talking about it may help a young person decide what he/she believes and why. I enjoyed the humor and the exercise of my moral compass immensely. Ages 14-17 (some younger teens have not escaped "cooties" yet) No violence. Some crude humor. Some kissing. Mention of body parts. One attempted make-out session that comes to a quick end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I read this for a tongue-in-cheek book club, so please don't think this book is a reflection of my actual taste in literature. That being said, it's not a HORRIBLE young-adult novel, but I feel like it was an opportunity wasted. There were so many themes that didn't get explored: gender issues, budding sexuality, peer pressure, the importance of individuality, etc. etc. etc. Instead, Jerry Spinelli spent the majority of his words describing wrestling moves and giving detailed accounts of what go I read this for a tongue-in-cheek book club, so please don't think this book is a reflection of my actual taste in literature. That being said, it's not a HORRIBLE young-adult novel, but I feel like it was an opportunity wasted. There were so many themes that didn't get explored: gender issues, budding sexuality, peer pressure, the importance of individuality, etc. etc. etc. Instead, Jerry Spinelli spent the majority of his words describing wrestling moves and giving detailed accounts of what goes on in a (male-envisioned) girls' locker room. Add in a bunch of one-dimensional characters that add nothing to the plot and you've got one giant waste of time. Jerry, this book could've been a teaching tool. Instead, it was just silly. Also, the ending was lazy and glib. No lessons were learned, no attitudes were challenged, no one grew at all. The only reason the town came to embrace the female protagonist is because she was - SPOILER ALERT - hit by a snowplow while rescuing a child (??!?!), so everyone begrudgingly accepted her as a hero and instantly buried all their deeply-held prejudicies. I mean, what?! Deus ex machina much, Jerry!?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carson Fuchs

    When I picked this book up in the sports section I thought it would be about some dude wrestiling, I was dead wrong! It was a chiclit! How ever I'm not the guy who stops reading a book half-way through. It was about a girl who wanted to be on the guys wrestiling team so she could get close to Eric (the boy she has a crush on). She can't ask Eric out because he's dating Lizard(Liz) Lamphly, her arch enemy. She likes Eric so much she quits playing on the girl's basketball team and she loses her be When I picked this book up in the sports section I thought it would be about some dude wrestiling, I was dead wrong! It was a chiclit! How ever I'm not the guy who stops reading a book half-way through. It was about a girl who wanted to be on the guys wrestiling team so she could get close to Eric (the boy she has a crush on). She can't ask Eric out because he's dating Lizard(Liz) Lamphly, her arch enemy. She likes Eric so much she quits playing on the girl's basketball team and she loses her best friend, Holly. What will she choose Boys or Sports? In my opinion, I thought the book was pretty good. At times it got to gooey (to romantic). I didn't like it just because there was wrestling in it. It was just about School, Life, and going out. There were times when they went to the school dance, which wasn't gooey at all. I mean I go to the school dance, and I'm not the Romance,Love, Rosies,Kisses, and dating type of guy. I see Romantic Comedies and all that at the movies, but I'm not like addicted to love. So basically it isn't just for girls, for guys I say " Go ahead take a risk, get a chiclit book, if you don't like no biggee."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Maisie is not a thirteen-year-old to be messed with. In pursuit of her first crush, Maisie joins the wrestling team, to the horror of her school and even her best friend. Maisie is a natural athlete but is the only girl on the team. She gets put down at first by her coach, who just wants to give her a taste of what he knows she will be getting but eventually accepts her as part of the team. Her parents support her in full, even though her moody brother doesn't. The school body supports her least Maisie is not a thirteen-year-old to be messed with. In pursuit of her first crush, Maisie joins the wrestling team, to the horror of her school and even her best friend. Maisie is a natural athlete but is the only girl on the team. She gets put down at first by her coach, who just wants to give her a taste of what he knows she will be getting but eventually accepts her as part of the team. Her parents support her in full, even though her moody brother doesn't. The school body supports her least of all, and she's subject to jeers and booing as she attempts to wrestle. She becomes a social outcast to everyone but the team, her family, and her friend Tina. Although I couldn't completely relate to Maisie's personality, Spinelli details the struggles of adolescence fairly well—from getting a first kiss to fighting with siblings. In the end, I was cheering for Maisie for realizing that the people telling her that she wasn't a girl, that she couldn't wrestle, and that she was a loser just didn't matter. Maisie's story of self-acceptance was definitely an interesting ride and highlighted the cruelties that you face when you're thirteen.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mel Wint

    Started: 7/5/14 Finished:7/25/14 Universal message: I believed that the universal message is that perseverance is key to getting though life's many obstacles. Main theme- I believe the main theme in this story was the importance of gender equality. Quote: "Maisie It takes little more to be a champion." This quote sums up the entire point of the story in just 9 short words.It tells us that being a winner doesn't come easy, and that there are going to be sacrifices made and many obstacles to face on Started: 7/5/14 Finished:7/25/14 Universal message: I believed that the universal message is that perseverance is key to getting though life's many obstacles. Main theme- I believe the main theme in this story was the importance of gender equality. Quote: "Maisie It takes little more to be a champion." This quote sums up the entire point of the story in just 9 short words.It tells us that being a winner doesn't come easy, and that there are going to be sacrifices made and many obstacles to face on the path to achieving what your going after. My critique: I loved this book, it puts so many past issues that I didn't know women faced back then in the spot light. I would recommend this book to this book to both males and females in my group because for the females it brings out a great deal of emotions in us that we would have never thought could be felt by only reading a book, and for the males i would recommend it because it gives them a taste of just how hard it was ( and still is) to be a female.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    Eighth grader Maisie Dobbs hasn’t been interested in boys before, but she definitely likes basketball. So, why does she find herself trying out for the school wrestling team (which one particular boy, Eric Delong, is a part of) instead of joining the basketball team again? While her initial reasons for joining are confusing to her, Maisie belatedly learns that everyone else questions her motivations, too: Her friends and most of the other students think she’s strange, her brother is disgusted, h Eighth grader Maisie Dobbs hasn’t been interested in boys before, but she definitely likes basketball. So, why does she find herself trying out for the school wrestling team (which one particular boy, Eric Delong, is a part of) instead of joining the basketball team again? While her initial reasons for joining are confusing to her, Maisie belatedly learns that everyone else questions her motivations, too: Her friends and most of the other students think she’s strange, her brother is disgusted, her teammates don’t want anything to do with her, the coach would prefer it if she weren’t on the team…. and to top it all off, she isn’t even getting any closer to Eric Delong. Although unprepared for the backlash she receives, Maisie perseveres in this witty story about sports, boys and girls, and gender norms. A great story for any girl that has wanted to do something typically considered “for boys” only, while also highlighting the fact that some things that are standard now (such as girls’ wrestling and other girls' sports) weren't always the norm. – Hannah V.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    i read this when i was a young'un and just never got over it. maisie potter decides to try out for the wrestling team, the only girl who's ever tried. the inevitable controversy ensues, and her original motive (to get close to hunky eric delong) gets lost in her fight to be taken seriously as a female athlete. i am a sucker for spunky girl heroines, and here's one of the best. a great book for preteens who are just starting to notice hormones, and also for tomboys (like i was) who don't want to i read this when i was a young'un and just never got over it. maisie potter decides to try out for the wrestling team, the only girl who's ever tried. the inevitable controversy ensues, and her original motive (to get close to hunky eric delong) gets lost in her fight to be taken seriously as a female athlete. i am a sucker for spunky girl heroines, and here's one of the best. a great book for preteens who are just starting to notice hormones, and also for tomboys (like i was) who don't want to be defined as just that one adjective. jerry spinelli manages to be subtle and dramatic, funny and deep, and, like all spinelli books, it has meaning without cheesiness.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    It definitely made me remember what it was like to be her age and all the bad decisions you make then and your constant dramatics (girls you know what i'm talking about). Spinelli does a good job capturing that in all of his books, it's why at 19 I still read his stuff. However it left me a bit confused as to if she stayed in wrestling for eric or not? or if that really ever was her subconscious/conscious motive in the first place? Anyway, it's a cute book with a good message, about not giving up It definitely made me remember what it was like to be her age and all the bad decisions you make then and your constant dramatics (girls you know what i'm talking about). Spinelli does a good job capturing that in all of his books, it's why at 19 I still read his stuff. However it left me a bit confused as to if she stayed in wrestling for eric or not? or if that really ever was her subconscious/conscious motive in the first place? Anyway, it's a cute book with a good message, about not giving up and not conforming to societal standards (she's the only girl on her schools wrestling team), following your heart etc. Recommended for everyone.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bluegravity

    usually this isn't my type of read, nor my general genre. In elementary school, I came across this book through odd means. Honestly, it attracted me if that can make sense, and I actually bought it which is also not something I often do (I love the library). I read it as I would any well written story: with bated breath curled up on the couch and later in bed with hidden flashlight. How surprising that a story based on common school drama could hold such excitement for me! So, yes, this story is usually this isn't my type of read, nor my general genre. In elementary school, I came across this book through odd means. Honestly, it attracted me if that can make sense, and I actually bought it which is also not something I often do (I love the library). I read it as I would any well written story: with bated breath curled up on the couch and later in bed with hidden flashlight. How surprising that a story based on common school drama could hold such excitement for me! So, yes, this story is a good read: embarrassing, funny, exciting, gross (those who read it will understand), and sobering. I really liked it, and even have a couple favorite part- read it and find out!

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