A heartfelt novel about a softball-loving girl coming to terms with her parents’ humanity after a scandal sends shock waves through her town
Bea’s parents think she can accomplish absolutely anything—and she’s determined to prove them right. But at the end of seventh grade, on the same day she makes a gutsy play to send her softball team to the league championships and Xander, the boy she likes, makes it clear that he likes her too, a scandal shakes up her world. Bea’s dad made a big mistake, taking money that belonged to a client. He’s now suspended from practicing law, and another lawyer spread the news online. To make matters worse, that other lawyer is Xander’s dad.
Bea doesn’t want to be angry with her dad, especially since he feels terrible and is trying to make things right. But she can't face the looks of pity from all her friends, and then she starts missing throws in softball because she’s stuck in her own head. The thing she was best at seems to be slipping out of her fingers along with her formerly happy family. She's not sure what's going to be harder—learning to throw again, or forgiving her dad. How can she be the best version of herself when everything she loves is falling apart?
About the Author
Laurie Morrison taught middle school for ten years before writing Every Shiny Thing, her middle-grade debut with co-author Cordelia Jensen. She is also the author of Up for Air, and Saint Ivy. She received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Philadelphia.
“For every strong, brave kid who has ever felt like they’re coming up short, this is a book about showing up for your team, but showing up for yourself first.”
— Lindsey Stoddard, author of Just Like Jackie
“Author Laurie Morrison hits a home run with this heart-warming story about a star softball player who must deal with family disappointment and learn how to trust her friends and teammates, her family, and most of all, herself. Coming Up Short has the perfect lineup of friendships, first crushes, and family drama for a page-turning book. I loved everything about it!”
— Debbi Michiko Florence, author of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter and Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai
"Coming Up Short is a gripping and relatable story with a big heart that will have readers thinking deeply about team, family, and responsibility—especially when it comes to the people we love.”
— Alyson Gerber, author of Taking Up Space, Focused, and Braced
“A pitch-perfect middle school sports story that captures all the joy, love, and messiness of growing up, Coming Up Short hits an absolute home run.”
— Kate Messner, author of Breakout and Chirp
"There are lots of sports scenes for softball fans, but this is also a novel that realistically explores deeper psychological truths around friendship and family relationships. There’s even a bit of sweet budding romance."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Morrison’s tale hits the ground running, and Bea’s emotional journey is as deftly chronicled as her time at a softball camp, which backgrounds the summer of her recovery. There are no villains here, just people of all ages who’ve made decisions they regret but are learning to dust themselves off and do better."
— The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books