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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

Shoot-OUt by Mike Lupica has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is in the "Comeback Kids" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Jake Stuart doesn't mind moving to a suburb of his old hometown. He finds a new friend, Quinn, and he hangs out at the local library. What he does mind is his new soccer team. They stink. He's used to being a good player on a good team. Now he's the star player of a losing team.

Coach Lord encourages Jake to be a leader. He also urges the boy to come alongside a teammate named Kevin who has just lost his mother. Jake is repeatedly frustrated by rude replies when he tries to help or talk to Kevin. The team continues to flounder, and Jake feels he's losing his love for the game.

Quinn notices Jake's loss of passion for soccer and encourages him to work on his attitude. Jake tries harder to be positive even when plays aren't going the way he expects. Kevin sees Jake and his mother horsing around and recognizes that Jake is as close to his mom as Kevin was to his. Kevin finally allows Jake to become his friend, and the grieving boy begins to make more effort on the soccer field.

Despite a poor season, Jake is energized when his team has a chance to play his old school. His former teammates razz him, thinking there's no way Jake's team can win. An impassioned game ensues, and Jake offers the final, game-breaking kick to Kevin. Despite his nervousness, Kevin wins the game. He, Jake and the team revel in that moment of victory.

Christian Beliefs

Jake and his parents go to church on Sundays.

Other Belief Systems

Jake wonders if they'll need the kind of luck possessed by Powerball lottery winners to defeat another soccer team during the season.

Authority Roles

Jake's parents are both funny and supportive, but his mom is his best friend. A former college soccer star, she taught Jake to play the game. She gives him pep talks and makes him laugh when he wants to wallow in self-pity. Kevin's mother was also his best friend. She was a writer who inspired Kevin to love reading. Jake's soccer coach urges him to take Kevin under his wing.


Butt and heck appear once or twice.



Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not 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.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 to 12




Mike Lupica






Record Label



Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in association with Walden Media, L.L.C.


On Video

Year Published





We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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