Eight-year-old Marisol is back after readers got to know her and best friend Jada in a first book, MAYBE MAYBE MARISOL RAINEY. It was there that Marisol tries to get over her fear of climbing a tree.

This second book stands on its own since Marisol is now struggling with learning how to play kickball in gym class. She knows everyone will laugh at her as she deals with the kicking and catching—a skill she doesn’t have when it comes to a soccer size ball.

This title will “Surely” be a hit for new readers to middle grade, especially those 8 to 9 year olds stepping up from chapter books. The story flows and is easy to read. A wide variety of whimsical pictures included throughout are a plus.

Other characters include Marisol’s mom and a dad who is only home one week per month due to his job on an oil rig. There’s also a much more athletic older brother known as Oz.

You’ll enjoy reading about Marisol’s so called “Brain Train” where she thinks about everything that isn’t right or needs help in her world. The main one is not having a dad around who can give her help when needed. He does call 3 times a week but some things like kickball can’t be learned over a phone call. Marisol resorts to asking older brother Oz for kickball training.

Marisol is a sweet girl you can’t help but like. I’m glad there are plans for more Marisol Rainey stories in the future. For now, sit back and enjoy SURELY SURELY MARISOL RAINEY


  1. This is a much more realistic look at present day physical education classes. Coach Decker is a master at creating a comfortable, less threatening gym class.
  2. Jada is a great friend even though she doesn’t always do the right thing in Marisol’s view. Jada’s parents are divorced but she spends time with each.
  3. Dad eventually is helpful even from his far away job. Having a distant parent because of work happens a lot in today’s society.
  4. The fears Marisol has were spot on for this age group and this alone makes it a title worth their time.
  5. You get a look at Marisol’s Filipino culture.


New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA, and is on the faculty at Hamline University. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; Lalani of the Distant Sea, an Indie Next Pick; and Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey which she also illustrated. 

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. This sounds like a great chapter book series that tackles issues that kids can relate too. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I really enjoy stories that target kids 8-9 who are nearly ready to read MG books. Like the realistic characters and plot. Separation from parents takes many forms, especially in those who travel for their jobs – especially military kids.

  3. I like books for this age. This sounds like a good one with lots of things kids can relate to. I’ll look for it. Thanks for the review.

  4. Diane M. says:

    I loved the first book so I’m glad to see this sequel.

  5. Sounds a great story. Makes me think of the torture it was for me in school at that age when the teacher wanted us all to learn Irish dancing. I was not good at it! I hope Marisol’s kickball experience had a better outcome than my Irish dancing!

Place your thoughts here with a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.