Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros cover

Sixth graders Isaac and Marco are next door neighbors and best friends, but they couldn’t be more different. Sports come naturally to Isaac, but he struggles to focus on school. Marco is a straight-A student but doesn’t fit in with the cool kids. What they share is concerns about their fathers – Marco’s absent Dad has always been disappointed in his son’s lack of athletic prowess, while Isaac’s Dad is loving but struggling with alcohol abuse. Will their friendship remain strong through their first year at middle school? At times funny, and always heartfelt, this 2025 Rebecca Caudill award nominee reminds the reader to be yourself, because that is enough.

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