Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: GAME CHANGER by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Last month while in the library I stumbled upon Margaret Peterson Haddix's middle grade novel GAME CHANGER. I'd enjoyed both her Shadow Children series and RUNNING OUT OF TIME, so I happily checked out a book with a softball player (my favorite!) for the main character. This book is a bit unusual for ones we typically review, because it has an alternate dimension or world and would be classified as science fiction.

From Goodreads:
Athletics are everything for eighth-grader KT Sutton. She’s a softball star, and she’s on track to get a college scholarship and achieve international fame. Then one day during a championship game—in the middle of an important play—she suddenly blacks out.

When she wakes up, she’s in a different world. One where school is class after class of athletic drills, and after-school sports are replaced by popular academic competitions. One where KT is despised for her talent, and where her parents are fixated on her brother’s future mathletics career rather than KT’s softball hopes.

KT is desperate to get back to reality as she knew it, but bits and pieces of disturbing memories and dreams make her wonder if something truly awful happened there. What if she’s lost something a lot more important than a softball game?

My take on GAME CHANGER:
The story was intriguing to read and put together how all the pieces came together. KT is an 8th grader already sneaking Ibuprofin to hide the pain and playing hard. She can pitch no-hitters and take on anyone who steps into the batter's box, but when she wakes up in a world where no one even knows what softball is and all the sports are academic (so she's in the sidelines watching her brother compete) it's a whole new world. People consider her a suck up for working out hard in class, running too fast or throwing too accurately. 

As she figures out which people are from her "real" world and works with them to "get back home" she learns many important lessons about what really matters. She's a different person, a different sister, and when she's back, she has a whole new set of issues to overcome (too spoilery to go into details!). I appreciated the read, but felt it a bit too didactic at times (especially the epilogue). Haddix definitely had a message she wanted to teach her readers, but at least it came with a pretty good story. 

This one is worth the read for upper elementary through middle school readers. 

About the Author:
Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from
Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. 
She has since written more than 30 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of TimeDon’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey; Leaving Fishers; Turnabout; Takeoffs and Landings; The Girl with 500 Middle Names; Because of Anya; Escape from Memory; Say What?; The House on the Gulf; Double Identity; Dexter the Tough; Uprising; Claim to Fame; The Always War; Game Changer; Full Ride; the Shadow Children series; the Missing series and The Palace Chronicles. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series.  Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages.

Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio, and they are the parents of two college-aged kids.


  1. I loved this book! I'm so glad you reminded me to revisit it.

  2. It's so great when Sporty Girl Books meet other genres. I'm excited to put this scifi on my Want to Read shelf on Goodreads.

  3. Really enjoyed this one when I was in middle school! I did think it was pretty didactic as well, but I didn't mind it that much the first few times I read it. Margaret Peterson Haddix is pretty great.

    I love the theme behind your blog!

    - Eli @ The Silver Words