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Madelyn Catherine is not a tough enough name for a star catcher on a fastpitch softball team. She prefers to be called MadCat.

Madcat is a 12-year-old who plays for the Norwich Sting, a New Hampshire girls fastpitch softball team. She loves the sport and all of her teammates. She is trying to adjust to her father's recent diagnosis with multiple sclerosis when her world is upset again. If the Sting expects to win Nationals, then changes need to be made. Everything becomes more intense when the Sting cuts old players in favor of new talent. MadCat must adjust to losing old friends and being forced to play on the same team with former rivals.

The narrator, Madcat, tells the story in her own voice. She's a believable character who is struggling with her own feelings. Madcat is both determined and reluctant to embrace her new team. Eventually new friendships are formed and old hurts are healed.

MADCAT touches on topics such as competition, parental involvement in sports, and winning at all costs. Kids involved in competitive sports will find this book entertaining and true to life.

Kathy Mackel is a novelist and screenwriter who has coached Junior Olympic and Little League fastpitch softball. She is also the author of A SEASON OF COMEBACKS, and her film credits include the Disney film Can of Worms. MADCAT, her second middle-grade novel about softball, is a home run for sports fans.

Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on March 15, 2005

by Kathy Mackel

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2005
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 006054869X
  • ISBN-13: 9780060548698