Surely Surely Marisol Rainey

Surely Surely Marisol Rainey


Readability Age Range



Year Published

Book Review

Marisol Rainey is good at many things, but sports isn’t one of them. In gym class, she just wants to play well enough to earn a cheer from her coach and a few high fives from her teammates. But even with her best friend’s encouragement and her brother’s training, it will take all of Marisol’s courage to leave her struggles in the past and step up to the plate.

Plot Summary

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.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

One kid believes he can talk to animals.

Authority Roles

Marisol’s parents are involved, loving, and fair, but Marisol sometimes feels like they don’t take her worries seriously. The teachers at Marisol’s school are good and encouraging.

Jada’s parents are divorced.

Profanity & Violence


Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

What do you do when you’re worried? Read 1 Peter 5:6-7 and Philippians 4:6-7. What should you do when you’re worried?

Think of a time when you had to practice hard at something you weren’t good at. Who helped you? What did you learn?

Have you ever said something mean to a friend like Marisol? What happened?

What do you do when someone is mean to you? What do you think Jesus would want you to do?

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Additional Comments

Surely Surely Marisol Rainey is a fun, relatable book with engaging characters kids will love. The story teaches some important lessons about forgiveness and perseverance for kids to apply as they consider their own relationships and struggles at school.

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not necessarily their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Review by Rachel Pfeiffer