Jerry Mac MacDonald has no pre-game rituals. He wakes up, jumps out of bed, and eats whatever looks good. Even though we have to be on the soccer field in forty- five minutes, he shows up at my house and starts playing solitaire on my computer.“You’re not going to believe it, Ari. I just got the fourth king.”

I believe it. Mac is the luckiest person I know. Beyond lucky. Always in the right place at exactly the right time. But it’s not just that. Girls think he is cute. Two weeks of school, the guy still has no homework. Most impressive: Even though the stakes could not be higher, he does not feel out of control.

Today is the all-important last day of tryouts for Somerset Valley select soccer, U-thirteen, Division One. I can’t leave anything to chance.

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Sarah Aronson

About the book:
It’s not exactly that Ari Fish is obsessive compulsive. It’s just that he believes in luck. That’s why he recites American presidents (in order), always showers with his left hand, and talks to his poster of Wayne Timcoe (the greatest goalkeeper ever to graduate from Somerset Valley High) before he goes on to the soccer pitch. Thomas Jefferson may have said that luck is all a matter of hard work, but Ari knows that sometimes luck is…luck. And to win at soccer you need it.

When Ari finds a rare Wayne Timcoe trading card, he knows his luck has changed. Now he’s going to start in the net. Mac MacDonald will learn to play nicely with Parker Llewellyn, the only girl on the team. And Ari’s fire-fighter brother will come home safely. Right? But then Ari’s Timcoe card disappears. With his luck finally run out, what can Ari put in its place?

What people are saying:
“Aronson skillfully dodges the predictability of sports-themed books by creating multilayered characters and an intriguing whodunit involving a valuable missing rookie card…Aronson’s graceful storytelling will keep even nonsoccer buffs turning pages.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“The pursuit of luck is the guiding force behind this appealing, middle-grade sports novel about soccer and friendship.”–Jewish Book Council, starred review

Released: June 30, 2011

About the author:

Sarah Aronson holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of the YA novel, Head Case, named a 2008 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and the newly released Beyond Lucky. She is the co organizer and founder of the Novel Writing Retreat at VCFA. Check out her writing classes at