Book for the Soccer Lover

Today I have a book for the soccer lover.  This story takes place in Malaysia in the 1980’s when girls were not encouraged to play.  However, Maya loves to cheer for Brazil in the World Cup and finally gets up the courage to ask for a soccer ball for her birthday.  Well, the rest is history as they say.  I mean how can you back to just watching when you feel the thrill of playing?

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Title: Ten: A Soccer Storybook for the soccer lover Ten

Author: Shamini Flint

Target: Grades 3-6

Series: No

What this book is about:

Maya lives in Malaysia and she is a serious soccer fan. She cheers on Brazil in the World Cup and her favorite player wears the number 10. But in Malaysia in the 1980’s, girls aren’t encouraged to play soccer. She teaches herself the basic moves in her backyard and slowly she gets girls in her school interested in playing. Setting up a team is no easy task, and all the while her parents have been fighting more and more. Challenges face her on the field and at home as she works hard to make things right.

Why I love this book:

  • I liked this book because it was less about being on a team and more about a girl’s love of soccer. Don’t get me wrong, I love team dynamic books, but there are quite a few so it was nice to see a different take on the subject. It was a delight to see Maya so passionate about Brazil and I think about my husband and daughter cheering on Chelsea every Saturday morning at home and their devotion to the team.
  • This book is set in the 1980’s so I imagine things have changed for girls soccer, but it is fascinating to see what obstacles other females faced in playing the game. Our kids take for granted that girls will play, and in the US the ladies are more accomplished than the men so the idea that it is a boys only sport seems preposterous to our kids.
  • This story is a lovely window into another culture. Maya talks about being Indian and not being Muslim in Malaysia and I think readers will be surprised at how that plays out in her school. Her parents are also battling two different cultures. A unique window into another child’s reality.

Who this book is for:

This book is great for kids who love soccer as well as reluctant readers. The book is short at 155 pages and the chapters are each only a few pages long so this book is not at all overwhelming.

Final thoughts:

A fellow blogger Ms. Yingling noted that she wished the book had been contemporary and when I read that I had to agree with her. Kids will not necessarily know the players from 30 years ago and having more current references could have made the book a little more relatable.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Ten: A Soccer Story.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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