Sophia Garcia, thirteen, wants to excel at softball like her older sister, Ellie, and make her family proud, but when she is chosen for a different team and position than Ellie, she must learn to succeed by being herself.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to his schoolmates as Pelé, grew up in poverty in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. He was too poor to afford a real soccer ball, so he played with a ball of newspaper tied together with string. Yet he dominated the youth leagues and signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of fifteen. Within two years he was celebrated internationally, when he led Brazil to victory at the world cup. Known by his fans as “O Rei” (The King), Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. But he’s more than just an athlete: he also traveled the world as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Pelé is the living symbol of a sport he dubbed “the beautiful game” a game that brings people together regardless of race or nationality.
Born in Brazil, Neymar Jr. grew up imagining that he might one day become a famous soccer player. Now his dream has come true. Using playful, child-friendly language, deep knowledge of the sport, and passion for it author, Mina Javaherbin, brings to life Neymar’s childhood and professional career for young soccer fans to enjoy. Her text is accompanied by Paul Hoppe’s modern, colorful illustrations.
Peasprout Chen dreams of becoming a legend of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating. As the first students from the rural country of Shin to attend Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout and her little brother Cricket have some pretty big skates to fill. They soon find themselves in a heated competition for top ranking. Tensions rise when the dazzling pearl buildings of the Academy are vandalized and outsider Peasprout is blamed for the attacks by her rivals and even some friends. Now, she must uncover the true vandal to ensure peace between Shin and Pearl – all while becoming a champion.
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys. Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
In 1986 Malaysia, as she worries about her parents’ constant fighting, ardent soccer fan Maya, age eleven, trains herself and pulls together a team at her girls’ school, despite soccer being a “boys’ game.”
Nazi England, 2014. Jessika Keller is a good girl–a champion ice skater, model student of the Bund Deutscher Mädel and dutiful daughter of the Greater German Reich. Her best friend, Clementine, is not so submissive. Passionately different, Clem is outspoken, dangerous and radical. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend, her first love.
Paulina, nicknamed Feather, leaves her piano to take up boxing, showing her father and brothers that she will stand up for herself.
Andrew Larsen’s simple yet evocative story sets the right tone for the youngest children, who can relate to the boy’s disappointment about missing the exciting nighttime game and his fears that he won’t be able to fall asleep. Jacqui Lee’s illustrations in soothing greens and blues are done in a blend of nostalgic and contemporary styles that suit the story’s timelessness. This book provides all of the appeal of the perfect bedtime story: the reassurance of caring parents tucking the boy in and then coming back later to check on him, the bedtime routine, the atmospheric winter night outside while it’s cozy and snug inside, and the promise of dreams come true.