Marisol Rainey likes lots of things, from vanilla ice cream to her cat, Beans, to her best friend, Jada.
One thing Marisol certainly doesn’t like is kickball. But that’s her next unit in gym class, whether she likes it or not.
Marisol has never played kickball, but she knows it’s a team sport. That means that everyone will be watching when she messes up. Marisol’s family is no help. Her parents tell her that kickball is nothing to worry about. So Marisol’s only comfort is that Jada is worried about kickball too.
Marisol wishes she was a natural athlete like her soccer-playing brother, Oz. She also wishes her dad wasn’t gone for his job on the oil rig so much so he could help her practice. But with her dad away, Marisol realizes her only chance of learning to play kickball is to ask Oz for help.
The biggest key, Oz tells Marisol and Jada? Never take your eye off the ball.
When the day of the game comes, Jada kicks a home run. The class has fun, but Marisol is sad about her poor kicks and jealous of Jada’s success. After the game, Marisol snaps at Jada.
Marisol dreads the next kickball game, and the guilt she feels for being mean to Jada drags her down. Finally, Marisol apologizes, and Jada forgives her. But that repaired friendship doesn’t make Marisol one bit better at kickball.
Finally, the last game comes around. It didn’t rain, much to Marisol’s disappointment, which means the game goes on. As she stands at home plate and the ball rolls toward her, Marisol has to forget all the balls she’s missed and kick for the fences instead.