FICTION

Surely Surely Marisol Rainey

Greenwillow. (Maybe Marisol: Bk. 2). Aug. 2022. 160p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062970459.
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Gr 2-5–Marisol, first introduced in Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, returns in this standalone second installment. Marisol and her best friend, Jada, have different lists of what they like and dislike, but they agree on their number one dislike—gym class. When Coach Decker announces that the class will start kickball, a snarky nemesis reminds her that she, Evie, excels in all sports while Marisol does not. The result makes already anxious Marisol even more so. It doesn’t help that her father is away working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, so he can’t teach her. But “Dadhead” as they call him (that’s how he appears on regular family video chats) suggests that Marisol ask her brother, a confident athlete, for help. Ultimately, Marisol gets help, overcomes her anxiety (even getting off her “brain train,” the endless loop of worries), and has a successful kick in a game of kickball. She gets kudos from her friends, the coach, and even Evie. As in the previous entry, Kelly presents plausible, emotionally authentic characters who interact in resonant situations. The third-person present tense narration puts readers right there with Marisol; they will be rooting for her first kick along with her friends and family.
VERDICT This middle grade for younger readers is a general purchase for school and public libraries.

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