The great news: The prize is $1 million! With it, 13-year-old Whisper Nelson could buy jewelry, clothes, and pay for college. She could even send her sister to college! To win, she must kick a goal past a professional soccer player. The bad news: She hates sports--all sports--with a passion! After her infamous soccer goal four years ago, to the other team's advantage, Whisper vowed to never play sports again. Afraid of, yet again, looking like a total failure in front of a crowd of people, Whisper has a tough choice to make. Will she try the kick? Dan Gutman not only succeeds in writing an exciting play-by-play sports story, but also captures the essence of middle-school life. Narrator Christina Moore scores big with the right mix of emotions--from insecurity to confidence--from loss to victory.
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by Dan Gutman
by David A. Adler
"Dan Gutman's sports-related fiction has an enthusiastic following among middle-grade readers, usually male. The beauty of THE MILLION DOLLAR KICK is its female heroine, Whisper Nelson, and her developing confidence as a goal-keeper and a person. All ages will appreciate her spunky coming to terms with the Donut City contest , as well as the wealth of coaching information for soccer players, especially goalies. Christina Moore's youthful voice makes her a perfect narrator for teenaged characters. Her studied, flat affect and casualness bely the inner turmoil of Whisper's relationships with Jesse, the contest sponsors, her coaches, opponents, and her family. Moore moves easily from character to character, always keeping the listener eager for more. A.R. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine"
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