(ages 14 and up; request it at your library or via Kindle)
The daughter of a college football coach, Kerry Madden grew up in a series of hometowns, transplanted from one place to the next with the changing of the football season, uprooted from childhood friends with almost no warning. It is this hectic, whirlwind lifestyle which Madden draws upon in writing her first novel, Offsides.
Offsides captures the bittersweet humor behind a girl's coming-of-age under unusual circumstances, in a world where last season's clothes are traded in for new ones in the latest team colors, where the "coacheswives" plan fashion shows to boost team spirit, and where the coaches—fathers and husbands—make only irregular appearances.
Bristling with sharp humor and keen, detailed perception, Offsides is more than the story of an intelligent, thoughtful girl; it is about challenge of growing up and the yearning for a life outside the one we are born into. It is a novel which strongly evokes the spirit of the football world, where life centers around winning the big game, and where people find unusual ways to deal with the intricacies of growing up.