"Jerry MacDonald has no pre-game rituals. He wakes up, jumps out of bed, and eats whatever looks good. Even though we have to be on the soccer field in forty-five minutes, he shows up at my house and starts playing solitaire on my computer."
Ari, however, has many rituals before soccer games. He eats a bowl of frosted cornflakes with half a cup of puffed rice and one third of a banana, wears his brother Sam's U Mass T-shirt, does fifty push-ups, recites the American presidents in order, and lastly reads his daily horoscope in the paper.
Although this is a story about Ari, Mac, and their soccer team as they try to make the U-thirteen, Division One soccer team, it is also a story about friendship, betrayal, and growing up.
This is a fast read that I think middle schoolers will enjoy, especially those who love sports.