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Happy Like Soccer Paperback – March 11, 2014
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This tender story, written in lyrical text, perfectly blends the protagonist's joy at playing her favorite sport with the loneliness of being the new kid in unfamiliar territory... This quiet gem is lovely for one-on-one sharing. School Library Journal
Castillo's stylized, expressive watercolor illustrations effectively depict the bleakness of Sierra's situation and her small triumph. Realistic without being overly sentimental, Boelts' uplifting story realizes the impact of family, community, and even a little cheering in a child's life. Booklist
Boelts' quiet tale celebrates the perseverance of a young girl as she attempts to achieve her goals. Kirkus
What could have been a pedantic lesson in class contrast instead is a heartfelt and honest reminder that everyone needs fans on the sidelines once in a while.Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A thought-provoking read-aloud.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Maribeth Boelts is the author of many books for children, including Those Shoes, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, which was a Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title. About Happy Like Soccer, she says, "Coaching soccer for a number of years, I saw the amazing impact a cheering family could have on a child-someone who knows and loves us and will root us on." Maribeth Boelts lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Lauren Castillo has illustrated many books for children. This is her first book with Candlewick Press. She lives in Brooklyn.
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Top Customer Reviews
A Latina girl from the inner city, Sierra, plays on a suburban soccer team. Her aunt is her guardian, a single woman who works every Saturday and cannot come to her soccer games. It's a good introduction to the lopsided opportunities afforded to suburban families and not city children. This story teaches empathy, but it is NOT a woe-is-me tale. Sierra empowers herself to speak up, offer a solution, and have the community come together. My 5 and 3 year olds understood the challenge, and cheered Sierra on, and took away the lesson to speak up for what you need, be thankful for what and who you have, and always be cognizant of the needs of your friends.
I cried like a baby. I'm a solid Democrat, and proud of it.