- Age Range: 6 - 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 4
- Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
- Series: AWARDS: Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2011-2012
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (April 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763645710
- ISBN-13: 978-0763645717
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,991,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Goal! Hardcover – April 13, 2010
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Arriving in time for the 2010 World Cup, this heart-tugging picture book from a debut author tells a lyrical soccer story in the voice of a young boy in a South African shantytown. After winning a federation-size “football” at school, the narrator and his friends enjoy a game, but bullies interrupt them. With some deft foot maneuvers, though, the young players deter the aggressors and resume their game, this time with a wary lookout: “The streets are not always safe.” The poetic text’s rhythmic repetition emphasizes the boys’ joyful empowerment: “When we play, / we forget to worry. / When we run, / we are not afraid.” In full-page oil paintings, Ford uses unusual angles to intensify the sense of the scuffling, exciting action; the tense confrontation; and the reality of shantytown life. An afterword includes fascinating historical notes and reinforces the narrator’s moving message about soccer’s power to inspire and connect fans and players around the world: “I follow the ball to the end of the alley; / I follow the ball to the end of the world.” Grades K-3. --Gillian Engberg
Large and colorful action shots, many full spread, keep the story moving at a quick pace. . . . Choose this book with an international bent to supplement other books on bullying, because it will open up another opportunity for conversation and discussion.
—School Library Journal
The poetic text’s rhythmic repetition emphasizes the boys’ joyful empowerment: “When we play, / we forget to worry. / When we run, / we are not afraid.” In full-page oil paintings, Ford uses unusual angles to intensify the sense of the scuffling, exciting action.
While the level of danger—and deprivation—these boys face may be unfamiliar to many American readers, the quick-moving soccer action, tension, and triumph over the common threat of bullies have near-universal appeal.
Moving message about soccer’s power to inspire and connect fans and players around the world.
I can’t think of another book that so succinctly and simply portrays the power of sports to unite and uplift….wonderfully conveys the passion the rest of the world feels for football as well as the conditions much of the world lives in - a fabulous sports book and so much more.
—Bookends (Booklist blog)
A lyrical, strikingly illustrated story that celebrates the unifying power of soccer.
—90 Minutes Soccer Magazine
A lyrical, spare story of friendship and empowerment. . . . Gorgeous oil paintings, and Ford perfectly nails the wide-ranging moods that rear their heads in the story: Elation, fear, embarrassment, courage, and right back to elation. And …victory.
—Seven Impossible Things blog
Uplifting and inspiring, this beautifully written and illustrated book reminds us of the joys and saving grace of friendship and sport. Set in South Africa, this book is a gift for soccer fans and all families around the world.
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Action-packed oil paintings expand the artfully clipped style of a satisfying story as much about teamwork, global connection and the pleasure of play as about soccer itself.
—San Francisco Chronicle
Ford's oil paintings capture the faces and posture of boyhood confrontation perfectly. His color choices and use of light to imply motion are masterful
—News & Record --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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