Fall 2024

The Rule of Three

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

When the rules no longer apply, how do you keep your head in the game?

Wyatt has a three-part Plan for Life, and it starts now, at the beginning of seventh grade, with tryouts for his local travel baseball team. A biracial kid in a mostly white town, he’s always felt like a bit of an outsider. The baseball field is the only place where he feels like he truly belongs. If he can just make the team, everything else will fall into place: school, friends, even his relationship with his often-distant dad.

But after upsetting incidents at tryouts, something inexplicable happens: wisps of smoke form around Wyatt.

As Wyatt tries to figure out what’s causing this mysterious smoke and how to control it, he discovers it’s connected to a painful family history. The more he learns, the more Wyatt begins to question the rules he’s always followed to fit in. With tensions rising at school and on the field, can he face the injustices of the past while keeping his cool in the present?

Format Your Price Add
On pre-order until 08/06/2024
On pre-order until 08/06/2024
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% off list price on hardcovers and ebooks when you buy direct! Digital purchases will be accessed on Lerner Digital Bookshelf. An account will be created for you after purchase.
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 6
Category Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2024
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 304
Publication Date 2024-08-06
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV039120, JUV039230, JUV013030
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Guided Reading Level Y
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, and Reviewed

Author: Heather Murphy Capps

Heather Murphy Capps grew up in a small Minnesota town where the motto is "Cows, Colleges, and Contentment." She spent fifteen years as a television news journalist before deciding to focus on her favorite kind of writing: books for kids involving history, social justice, science, mystery, and a touch of magic. A mixed-race author committed to diversity in publishing, she lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two kids, two cats, and yes, even some cows, colleges, and contentment.



“Wyatt’s voice is authentic and nuanced; his frustrations will resonate with middle grade readers who see the injustices around them and struggle to control their own emotions. A good SEL angle within a prose novel featuring social justice and sports appeal for readers who enjoy Mike Lupica, Kwame Mbalia, and B.B. Alston.”—Booklist

Publishers Weekly

“Capps incorporates real-life events—as discussed in an author’s note—to tell an illuminating tale that utilizes a physical manifestation of trauma to effectively demonstrate the compounding results of racism across generations.”—Publishers Weekly

Isi Hendrix

“Heather Murphy Capps has written another powerful, well-researched, insightful book, and Wyatt’s authentic voice shines through as a hero you can’t help but cheer on.”—Isi Hendrix, Author of Adia Kelbara and the Circle of Shamans