Age Range - 8 - 12
Genre - Juvenile Fiction
Nicole loves spending time playing softball with her friends on the Lady Tigers Fastpitch Softball Team. At first, Nicole gets along really well with all the other players, and they have lots of fun competing together. But things start to change when Coach Kory introduces Diana, a new player trying out for the team.
Nicole immediately tries to welcome Diana and make her feel like part of the team. This plan backfires, however, when Diana responds to every one of Nicole’s attempts with a snide comment or rude eye roll. Diana seems to think she is better than everyone else, and by the end of practice, everyone has heard or been the victim of one of Diana’s mean comments. Nicole tries to ignore the remarks, but things begin to escalate when Diana has a pool party and only invites part of the team. Is Diana purposefully trying to split the team in half? Will Nicole be able to pull it back together in time?
Nicole’s New Friend, the third book in the Lady Tigers Series by Dawn Brotherton, was a fast and enjoyable read. It ties in nicely with other books in the series, but because each book introduces the characters again, it can stand on its own. There are a lot of characters, and the dialogue between them is a big part of the story.
I liked how the book stressed the values of friendship, forgiveness, and sportsmanship. Nicole’s New Friend shows how one person with a bad attitude can ruin team spirit for everyone. It teaches kids that sports aren’t all about winning, that the fun of the game is more important. The Lady Tigers never give up, even when it seems like they can’t possibly win, a great lesson for tween athletes.
I would recommend this book to young readers ages 8-11, especially girl who like sports.
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