Abby has just gotten involved with a Special Olympics Unified Soccer team. The unified teams integrate "athlete" players who have a disability and "partner" players who don't. Abby really thinks she's going to havea good time; she'll get more soccer practice in (always a good thing in her mind), and she gets to work with Coach Wu of SMS softball fame. At the first practice, Abby notices that there are a few really good players on their team, including one of the athlete team members named Erin. When it comes time to scrimmage at the end of the practice, Abby is assigned a defensive position. She's pretty surprised, and not exactly happy, especially when she learns that Erin has been assigned to the offensive position that Abby herself used to play. Abby doesn't intend to let things end there; she's sure Coach Wu made a mistake, and she plans to take her rightful place (as she sees it) back from Erin as soon as possible.
At the next few practices, Abby does her best to show Coach Wu that she should be playing offense. She mentions that she was the leading scorer on her team back on Long Island, but Coach Wu isn't falling for it. Abby starts to question whether or not she's even a good coach, and she also gets more and more jealous of Erin. By the time the first game rolls around, Abby decides to take matters into her own hands. Instead of staying in her proper position on the field, she takes every opportunity to show off and try to score. When the team loses, Abby blames everyone else but herself for the way things turned out. Erin points out that Abby didn't stay in her position, making it easier for the other team to score. Soon, other people are notiocing that neither Abby nor Erin are being good sports or team players. Then, they almost end up fighting, and Coach Wu benches them for two games. Of course, Abby blames Erin for it completely; she STILL thinks she deserves to be the star, and she STILL doesn't see what she's doing wrong. At the end of the second game. Coach Wu relents and puts both girls back in the game, as long as they can work together and act like teammates. The team ends up losing, but Abby is still relieved to be playing again. Afterwards, she's still got a lot of energy to burn off., so she goes for a run in Miller's Park instead of having pizza with the team. She's doing a few laps around the track when who should show up but Erin! They have a sort of impromptu race, which ends in a tie. Abby apologizes for being a jerk (finally!) and things are a little friendlier.
In other news, Mrs. Stevenson wants to take the girls to see their grandparents in New York and pay a visit to their father's grave in honor of his birthday. Abby doesn't want to dredge up memories of his death, so she begs off the visit by claiming that she can't let her soccer team down. Also, a bunch of BSC charges and the other sitters form a Booster Club to help out Abby's team.
Thoughts and Things
- Even thought I basically hate this book, I like how they wrote the disabled characters. There really wasn't much of a fuss made over which players were and which weren't, and Erin wasn't made out to be some sort of saint who was being wronged by big, bad Abby. She was just a big a jerk as Abby was at times. :)
- I don't get why Kristy took Abby's unsportsmanlike conduct so personally. They actually fought over it!
- As much as I've come to like Abby, I didn't like her in this book. She was so conceited it was ridiculous.