Rascal would be good but they would grow out of it quickly.... kids grow like weeds.
I would suggest a S&W MP 15/22 in a pistol platform with a brace. Its stupid light, has adjustable length of pull... what else you need for kids.
The CZ would be a good rifle to grow into, but IMO, would be too heavy & non adjustable stock is going to be a PITA to shoulder for anyone with short arms.
Yep this happened with my daughter. she started out with BB rifle when she joined the 4H and entered the BB/Air Rifle team. She was going to advance to 22 and the club recommended her she gets a Savage Mark II bolt action rifle. they said stay away from the cricket or rascals for the same reason you indicated. She eventually left and went shotgun and now she is a championship shooter in Trap and skeet.