Squish tackles the world of sports in this title, joining a soccer team, the Water Fleas, and dealing with constant losing. He's thinking of himself as Captain Disaster, when he figures out how to play to his players' strengths and they start winning.
However, his friends, dad, and coach all insist that he's being mean by not allowing everyone a chance to play and have fun and that's what sports is all about (never mind the other teams who made fun of them when they lost). Squish lets his other friends play and they lose, but everyone has fun.
I don't remember the other Squish stories having quite as much sarcastic snark, but it's been a while since I read one and I don't think most kids would notice it anyways. I didn't care much for the message of this one myself, but mediocrity seems to be the goal in education now and a lot of parents and teachers will like this. The kids just like the weird amoebas.
Verdict: If you're buying Squish, and of course you are, buy it. Library bound. Feel free to roll your eyes in private if you, like me, are not an advocate of teaching children that hurty feelings are the most important things in the world.
ISBN: 9780375843921; Published 2012 by Random House; Review copy provided by publisher (added to summer reading prizes); Purchased for the library.