From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—These books address a largely unfilled niche: short, highly readable biographies of contemporary soccer stars. The texts are printed over and around voluminous, richly printed photographs and include many pages of scoring statistics and league standings, awards, even a QR code to direct readers to a video of Zlatan's 40-yard bicycle-kick goal in a 2012 match against England. Frequent references to great players of the past—Maradona, Pelé, Cruyff, Eusebio—lend the books a welcome historical context. The narratives can be digressive and quirky at times. The Messi and Ronaldo volumes, for example, each devote an entire page to a recipe for the player's favorite meal. Historical overviews of shipping in the Swedish port city of Malmö or Portuguese settlement on the island of Madeira (Ronaldo's childhood home) are interesting but brief and not well situated in the narrative. Still, some solid details round out the portraits. Messi was named for singer Lionel Ritchie, popular around the time he was born, while Ronaldo's name came from his father's admiration for President Reagan. Though the primary focus is on the players' lives and their achievements on the pitch, some ink is devoted to their celebrity lifestyles: lavish homes, extravagant car collections, stratospheric salaries. All three include a "Learn More!" section, but they are not ideal for formal research; though they list personal and fan pages, as well as ESPN, all list Wikipedia as the top online resource. While these entries are excellent, this citation will raise hackles for many teachers.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA
These books address a largely unfilled niche: short, highly readable biographies of contemporary soccer stars. The texts are printed over and around voluminous, richly printed photographs and include many pages of scoring statistics and league standings, awards, even a QR code to direct readers to a video of Zlatan’s 40-yard bicycle-kick goal in a 2012 match against England. Frequent references to great players of the pastMaradona, Pelé, Cruyff, Eusebiolend the books a welcome historical context.... These entries are excellent
School Library Journal
The U.S. bookwith profiles of coaches from Thomas Cahill to Jurgen Klinsmann and players from Joe Gaetjens to Landon Donovanserves as a fine source for anyone of any age on American soccer history. (All of the books are also stat resources.)
Although meant for young readers, there’s nothing childish about the presentation in "Legends Series." The graphicssuch as the Gold Cup opponents map in U.S. Men’s Teamare colorful yet clear and informative. They're simply beautiful books that tell fascinating stories.”
SoccerAmerica Youth Soccer Insider
High quality and high attention to even the smallest of details. Clever use of formatting and photographs hook the reader immediately! I can't wait to get these on the shelves of my library - they are going to just fly right off.”
Gayle Byrne, Children’s Librarian, Killingworth Library
"These books are a terrific soccer resource for kids! They combine the best of world soccer along with history, geography and a glimpse at what it’s like growing up as a young soccer player in another country. Soccer is truly a global language and these books help American kids speak it fluently. What a great opportunity for young soccer players to learn about their heroes and the legendary clubs of the world. These books are engaging and fun!"
Lynn Berling-Manuel, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO)
"Readers will be captivated by the stunning photography."
Michael Terborg, Librarian, Prince George's County Public Schools