Ella McKeen Kickball Queen

By Beth Mills
Carolrhoda Books
Ages 4–8

Some kids call it kickball, others call it soccer baseball, but every kid knows the fiercely competitive playground game at the heart of this tale. One minute, it’s a pleasant summer afternoon with friends, with the eponymous protagonist enjoying her usual kickball dominance. Fortunes suddenly reverse as the new kid bests Ella, leaving her deep in the throes of an embarrassing (and highly relatable) tantrum. Slowly, grudgingly, Ella learns to lose graciously, accepting that she can’t necessarily be the best at everything. With bouncy writing and lively illustrations, this is a fun read for any kid, but if you find yourself raising a little hothead who thinks losing is the end of the world, it’s pretty much mandatory.

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