An enthralling story of a poor and gawky kid who mysteriously becomes the world’s greatest goalkeeper — a seamless blend of magic realism and exhilarating soccer action.”And you found it, this thing you were looking for?”It was darker now, and the city below Faustino’s office was a jazzy dance of neon signs and traffic. The big man went to the window and looked down at it all, spreading his large hands on the glass. “No,” he said. “It found me.”When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato — the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup — the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato (“The Cat”) quietly narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in a mythic corner of the South American rain forest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach the gangly boy the most thrilling secrets of the game. Combining vivid imagery and heart-stopping action, this evocative, strikingly ethereal novel about loyalty, passion, and magic will haunt readers, regardless of their love for soccer, long after the story is ended.
Exhausted from his labors, a man chopping down a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rain forest puts down his ax, and, as he sleeps, the animals who live in the tree plead with him not to destroy their world. “This modern fable with its urgent message contains an abundance of information.”–The Horn Book
In an interview with a young journalist, World cub hero El Gato describes his youth in the Brazilian rain forest and the events, experiences, and people that helped make him a great goalkeeper and renowned soccer star.