The Comeback Challenge is a great book for middle to high readers. It starts off with Mark Conway's flashback to his parents' messy divorce and custody battle. The courts decide that Mark should live with his grandparents until a decision can be made as to which parent he lives with. The battle starts out in England which Mark loves and is sadden to move back to the states because of his friends and soccer. He tries out for a soccer team and makes it. The only drawback is he made a mistake while trying out and has in the process made an enemy of one of the star players. Recommended.
Douglas County School District
Mark, age 12, who is living with his grandparents while his parents squabble over custody, is anxious about fitting in on his new soccer team. He's pleased to discover that some of the skills he learned while living in England help the team, but the team captain, Vince, doesn't want to share team glory with a newcomer. The story is formulaic, but Christopher sets up some strong play-by-play action and mixes it with a message about the importance of acknowledging bad feelings and communicating with others. Parents and teachers may object to the fact that schoolwork and reading are never mentioned, but die-hard sports fans who resist reading may find that makes the story all the more tempting. Category: Middle Readers.
Booklist, (Vol. 92, No. 9 & 10)
Bullying, self-doubt, and family problems are common themes in these popular, formulaic sports-centered titles. Characters include foster kid Peter, a dirt biker; basketball player Mel, a victim of racial prejudice; and football-playing twins Michael and Tom, who may be telepathic. The heroes, not always winners on the field, inevitably conquer their inner foes. These editions are sturdily bound and feature large type. (New Matt Christopher Sports Library series). Category: Intermediate Fiction. Recommended, with minor flaws.
Horn Book (The Horn Book Guide), Spring 2009