Kiddosphere: GOOOOOOAAAL – – Books for Soccer Fans

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Have you caught World Cup fever? Judging from the soccer books being carried out of our libraries, patrons definitely have! No matter who you are rooting for, we have lots of outstanding soccer titles for young patrons:

Soccer is exciting to watch, but the rules can be confusing. National Geographic Kids’s Absolute Expert: Soccer is packed with the ins and outs of the “beautiful game,” plus fun trivia and more.

Poor Betty Bunny. She’s so disappointed after losing her first soccer game that she wants to quit! Luckily, her parents convince her to keep trying and to appreciate the fun of the sport. Betty Bunny Wants a Goal is part of a funny and cute series about a preschool-age bunny who learns important life lessons (without being too condescending).

The Field by Baptiste Paul ; pictures by Jacqueline Alcántara

We received The Field several months ago, and it’s already one of my favorite picture books of the year. This simple story of young children (in Saint Lucia) playing soccer is a sweet story of friendship, teamwork and the universality of the game. Creole words are included throughout the narrative.

I don’t know much about soccer stars, but I do know some current names, such as Neymar da Silva Santos Jr and Lionel Messi. When I saw Neymar, A Soccer Dream Come True advertised several months ago, I took a chance and ordered copies for all locations, not knowing how many patrons would be interested in the Brazilian soccer star. I’m definitely glad I did, because all three copies have been checked out! This highlights his hard work and determination throughout his childhood and career, making it an inspirational story for all readers.

Even if you don’t follow soccer, you’ve surely heard of Pele, widely considered one of the greatest (if not the greatest) soccer players of all time. Told in graphic novel format, Pele, The King of Soccer not only pays tribute to his amazing athleticism, but also his deep commitment to UNICEF. Younger readers might enjoy Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star.

I love the What Is– series (and the Who Was and Where Is series). Covering everything from the Ten Commandments to the history of rock and roll, these knockout series make learning about important events, places and people super fun. What is the World Cup? covers everything from the basic history of the tournament, important players (including Pele), and even controversies surrounding the games.

World Team is an awesome depiction of soccer’s worldwide popularity. Children playing soccer (or dreaming about playing soccer while doing other things, such as walking to school) in the United States, Lebanon, Mexico, France, Italy, India and other countries. While their ball and field conditions vary, they all have one big goal–playing (and being on the winning team) for the World Cup.

For program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers, make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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