Keeper

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.

Journey to the River Sea

This hair-raising novel, set in turn-of-the-last-century Brazil, introduces Maia, an orphan, sent from England to live with unfamiliar cousins on a rubber plantation. As Maia and her kind governess arrive in their new home, they each have secret hopes of adventure–which are immediately quashed by the Carters, who hate their adopted land are obsessed with re-creating England in the forest, right down to the watery puddings.

Asphalt Angels

A raw, poignant story of a band of Brazilian street kids who survive — if they can — by their wits alone. Asphalt Angels centers around a boy named Alex, a street child of 13 in Brazil who has been kicked onto the city streets by his stepfather after his mother dies. He is alone and scared. This is the story of how he adapts to life in the streets with a group of other children. Hazards are everywhere: drug-dealing, theft, glue-sniffing, harassment, brutality, even murder. It is not easy steering clear of them, yet Alex manages to survive, eventually making a home with 14 other boys in a house, working in an office, and attending evening school. This story grew from the real-life drama the author observed while on assignment. In an afterword, she reports that some 10,000 children sleep in Rio’s streets, and many more roam them by day, victims of inadequate nutrition, education, and shelter, and prey to drugs and violence. Alex does exist, but under another name.