Monday, August 22, 2022

Surely Surely Marisol Rainey written and illustrated by Erin Entrada Kelly

Surely Surely Marisol Rainey (Maybe Marisol Book #2)
written and illustrated by Erin Entrada Kelly
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 2022, 160 pages

Eight-year-old Marisol Rainey and her best friend Jada George love to make lists of their favorite and their least favorite things. They don't always have the same things on them, but it's still fun to compare their lists. But there is one thing that is on both of their least favorite things and that is gym class. Sure, it can be fun sometimes, like when Coach Decker lets them play hopscotch, but when it comes to things like baseball or basketball, Marisol never hears him yell out things like "Nice try, Marisol" or "Great Effort, Marisol" because Marisol just doesn't do well in these sports.  

So on the Thursday afternoon that Coach Decker announces that starting Monday and for two weeks they will be learning how to play Kickball, "Marisol's belly plummets to her sneakers." Marisol has never played kickball and her dad, who works on an oil rig off the Gulf of Mexico coast isn't around. He can only come home once a month for a week, but not during the two weeks of kickball. To make matters worse, braggy nemesis Evie Smythe is a great kickball player and never lets Marisol forget it. And if that isn't enough to get Marisol's brain train of negative thoughts going, her brother Oz is a great athlete and soccer star. 

When her friend Felix explains that he learned to talk to animals by sleeping with a book about them, Marisol decides to try sleeping with a soccer ball to see it Felix's technique will work for her. But when it doesn't work, and not wanting to let her teammates down, Marisol finally decides she needs to take real action and talk to her brother Oz. 

This is Erin Entrada Kelly's second Marisol Rainey book. It is a stand alone story and is every bit as delightful as Book #1, Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey. It is told in the third person present from Marisol's point of view giving readers a window into what she is thinking. The chapters are short, and there are lots of black and white illustrations done by the author that perfectly harmonize with the text. Like many kids her age, Marisol is a worrier, but they are the kinds of worries and anxieties that those readers can relate to. Luckily, Marisol has a supportive family and friends to help her work through her fears and worries. 

Erin Entrada Kelly has a way of zeroing in on the things that kids thing and worry about, exploring themes like siblings, friendships, courage, solving problems, and, of course, facing fears. I really enjoyed reading this second Marisol Rainey book and look forward to Book #3. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see the second book in this series is a great one, Alex! I think many young readers (my younger self included) would relate to Marisol's anxieties, and I love how Marisol gains the courage to speak to her older brother (which I imagine is a great reminder to her that siblings are hopefully always there for each other!). Thanks so much for the wonderful review!


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