Written by: Alex Morgan
For parents of independent readers, we provide a set of questions that should give you insight into what your child is reading and help you engage him/her in meaningful conversations about literature. We recommend using the questions provided here as a springboard for deeper conversation about Saving the Team (The Kicks #1) and what your child takes away from the book. Enjoy!
Spoiler Alert! The summary below contains spoilers about the plot that your child might not want to read until after finishing the book.
When Devin arrives at her new school in California, she is painfully aware of how different her life will be from her old life in Connecticut. All that she prays for is to make the soccer team at her new school and to find some new friends. What she is surprised to find is that the Kentville Kangaroos aren't as good as she had anticipated. They are a complete mess but with the help of her best friend Kara and her new friends on the team, Devin finds the courage and strength to whip her new team into shape and go up against the Pinewood Panthers. With a lot of hard work and teamwork, Devin and the Kentville Kangaroos go on to beat the Panthers, reassuring Devin that change isn't so bad after all and that she has found the place where she belongs at her new school.
- Devin describes the butterflies that she feels on her first day at a new school. Can you remember your first day? How did you feel? Were you able to make new friends immediately or did it take some time?
- Devin gets a lot of strength and reassurance from her best friend, Kara. How would you describe their relationship? Do you have a friend that is like Kara?
- Which character do you consider to be the most like you? Why? What are three words that you would use to describe the character that you've chosen. Why did you choose those words?
- What are the qualities of a good team? Did the Kicks have them in the beginning of the story? Why or why not? What about the end of the story?
- Coach Flores' introduces a series of drills to the team that aren't related to the game of soccer at first glance. What were some of the drills? Why were they helpful?
- Devin decided to use Emma's clusiness to the teams advantage by making her goalie. Can you think of a weakness that you have that can be interpreted as a strength in a different situation?
- Not familiar with some of the soccer terminology that you read about? There is a great glossary in the back of the book with important soccer terms like "corner kick" and "flanks" that may give you some more insight.
- Alex Morgan won her first Olympic Gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic games. Check out her profile and watch her in her element. How is Alex Morgan like the character Devin in her story? Why do you think she decided to write this story?
Above all, be sure to engage your child in a discussion about the plot line and his/her thoughts and feelings about the book. Ask what s/he likes, encourage exploration related to the book, and every now and again, offer to read parts of the book aloud, just for fun!