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Carpool Diem

Inspired by an overzealous parent at her neighborhood soccer field, Star spins an appealing tale about Annie Fleming, a suddenly unemployed mom who decides to manage her tween daughter’s soccer team. Annie encounters a cesspool of maddening rules, demanding parents, and one very intense coach?all of which make her question whether it’s worth nurturing her child’s innate talent. Though Carpool Diem is occasionally predictable (Annie — no surprise — is a high-energy multitasker who loves to make to-do lists), Nancy Star’s breezy story and spot-on description of youth-sports bureaucracy ultimately score. B

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