Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss







Soccer Star

line Soccer Star
by Mina Javaherbin (Author), Renato Alarcao (Illustrator)

Score!

Paulo Marcelo Feliciano, aka “Felino”, the captain of the local soccer team dreams of big wins! After all, he has a strong team.  Carlos who shines shoes during the day, will score goals with his fancy footwork. Jose who dives off of bridges for tourists, will one day dive for the team. Givo who works tirelessly on carnival floats for the dancers, will dance with the ball as his fans cheer him on. And Pedro climbing the coconut tree at the coconut grove will climb to glory with his trophies.

Soccer Star Dive

Soccer Star Climb

But for now, Felino must dribble his way towards the docks. He is headed out to the ocean with Senhor da Silva on his boat to catch fish from the sea. Later that evening the boys have a big game. Felino looks up at the sky, at the wild storm clouds gathering and hopes that the clouds will simply disappear.

Finally it is time to head back. Felino’s friends are already there waiting. They prepare and plan for the big game.

Soccer Stars

Just then Maria, Felino’s sister arrives. Like her brother, Maria loves soccer. She watches her brother and his team play the game. She practices some moves with Felino as they walk to school daily. She impresses Felino with her bicycle kick! But when it comes to playing the game, the boys have one rule: “no girls!” But Maria doesn’t lose hope. She runs to the team and asks “Please can I play on your team”. Although Felino supports her, the other boys frown and say no.

Soccer Star Maria

The game begins. The team is strong. Jose jumps to fend the attack.. and whoosh! He falls on his wrist. It’s not broken, but Jose needs rest. The team is short one player. Maria watches eagerly… will this be it?Will the boys finally let her play?

“Soccer Star” is a story set in the Brazilian favelas. The boys on the street carry the burden of supporting their families. Born and raised in the midst of poverty, these kids face unusual responsibilities. Instead of going to school, they go to work. However, despite their circumstances, the kids have a passion that brings them together. One that lifts them from their daily drudgeries and give them a dream to rise above their circumstances. “Soccer Star” is a beautiful picture book that tells the story of these boys, who above all else want to be just that.. Soccer Stars!

“Soccer Star” is also the story about Maria. A girl who dreams of playing like her brother. A girl who works hard and plays hard. This is the story about Maria who wants to prove herself .. given a chance!

Soccer Star with Maria

Renato Alarcao’s digitally colored ink illustrations are refreshing. There is an unusual warmth to the characters, a die-hard optimism that he captures in the faces and to the pages adding to the theme of hope and inspiration. Children will delight in the art that joyfully depicts the sport and the sheer fun factor of the game.

We absolutely loved this book. Mina has done it again! Mina has written two other books “Goal” and “The Secret Message” which are just as wonderfully done. Overall this book is a big SCORE!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


17 comments

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  1. This just came into our library and I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for sharing it with us, making it even more enticing.

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    • reshamad

      I love Mina’s books and am always eager when her new book comes out Do let me know what you think about this one Alex.
      -Reshama

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  2. Katie

    What an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing yet another great book with KLBH!

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    • reshamad

      It sure is Katie! Loved this story Thanks for stopping by!
      -Reshama

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  3. MIna

    Thank you for the review, can’t wait to post it all over the place. I will be in Oakland Ca,on May 18 at 11 am
    A Great Good Place for Books
    6120 LaSalle Avenue
    Oakland, CA 94611
    Please come and say hello if you can.
    Best
    Mina

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    • reshamad

      That’s wonderful Mina! I can’t wait to see you Looking forward to it.
      -Reshama

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  4. It looks like a great story! The place is well depicted (I am from Brazil), and soccer means a lot to Brazilians.
    Thanks for sharing it.

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    • reshamad

      I am so glad you found this book. The story is so “fitting” and culturally relevant!
      -Reshama

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  5. Another Brazilian book recommendation and the illustrations are wonderful. Thanks so much for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop

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    • reshamad

      Thanks Julie. I think the book is a great read on culture and sports!
      -Reshama

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  6. ccarpinello

    I love that you find these lovely books about other cultures. Also, that you share them with us and the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

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    • reshamad

      Cheryl, thanks for the kind words! I am glad to be sharing them, these are books that we loved and want very many people to read them and enjoy them as much as we did!
      -Reshama

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  7. Gorgeous illustrations! The style is so different to what you see in other picture books, and at the same time it seems very engaging for a young audience.

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    • reshamad

      Good observation Bronwyn. We found the book very engaging and informative!
      -Reshama

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  8. Wow! I love the setting of this book! Can’t wait to check it out! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

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    • reshamad

      Its a great read Tina. I am sure your little ones will love this one!
      -Reshama

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  9. This looks like a wonderful book! Thank you for sharing at the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!

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