Eyes on the Goal

Eyes on the Goal

4.0 4
by John Coy
     
 

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Just before they're due to start middle school, Jackson, Gig, Isaac, and Diego, four sports-loving friends, all attend the same weeklong soccer camp. Diego is an experienced soccer player, and Gig has a natural ability for the sport he never realized. But Jackson and Isaac are split into another group of players—a group with younger, smaller kids. For the

Overview

Just before they're due to start middle school, Jackson, Gig, Isaac, and Diego, four sports-loving friends, all attend the same weeklong soccer camp. Diego is an experienced soccer player, and Gig has a natural ability for the sport he never realized. But Jackson and Isaac are split into another group of players—a group with younger, smaller kids. For the first time, both boys aren't the stars of their team. In fact, they can't seem to get a handle on soccer. At the same time, Jackson is having a hard time getting a handle on his mom's deepening relationship with her boyfriend, and her suggestion that they move in with him. And Gig is worried about his father's deployment to Afghanistan.

Here is a story about how life, like sports, can be unpredictable, frustrating, and exhilarating.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
School's out, fifth grade is over and best friends Jackson, Gig, Isaac and Diego are off to soccer camp. In this second of a four-book, four-sport series, following Top of the Order (2009), Coy offers another successful story of sports and friends, which, like all good sports stories, transcends sports to represent a slice of real life. Jackson wonders about his life now that his mother has a new boyfriend, Gig worries about his father's deployment to Afghanistan and suddenly the boys are noticing girls. At camp, the difficulties provoked when Diego and Gig are placed in a more advanced level are balanced against the boys' efforts to investigate some possible ghosts. The author captures the fifth graders' sensibility, language and loyalty to each other through Jackson's direct, present-tense narration, and short, simple sentences, lots of dialogue and plenty of soccer action make this a sure hit with young sports fans. A solid, simply told sports story for readers not yet ready for John Feinstein, Mike Lupica and Robert Lipsyte. (Fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher

"Light, enjoyable reading for those downtimes between sports seasons." —Booklist on Eyes on the Goal

"Coy has created a story of just the right length to keep his fans engaged. It is not necessary to have read Top of the Order to appreciate this one. Hints of fall football in middle school indicate that a third book is to follow." —School Library Journal on Eyes on the Goal

“Appealing characters and plenty of baseball action will make this a hit with young sports fans.” —Kirkus Reviews on Top of the Order

“Coy effortlessly captures the voices of boys on the verge of adolescence. Jackson and his friends are fully developed.” —School Library Journal on Top of the Order

“Appealing and true to life.” —Publishers Weekly on Top of the Order

Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
Jackson and his friends Gig, Isaac, and Diego head off to soccer camp together for a week during the summer after fifth grade. All the boys love sports, but only Diego really loves soccer, though Gig turns out to have a talent for the game. Jackson and Isaac find themselves struggling to master the sport, and they are placed with a younger age group, to their annoyance. Jackson, the narrator, is used to being a star (he was introduced in Top of the Order, first in this "4 for 4" series, which focused on the same boys playing baseball), and now he is annoyed to find himself making mistakes over and over again on the field: he cannot get out of the habit of using his hands. He is also trying to cope with his mother's new boyfriend, who has just invited them to come live in his house. Gig, meanwhile, is dealing with his father's impending deployment to Afghanistan. Not all is gloomy, however, as Jackson develops a crush on Diego's pretty soccer-playing cousin, and the boys sneak out of the dorms at night to investigate what appear to be ghosts down by the lake. In the end, Jackson finds satisfaction in being a soccer goalie, and the four boys team up for a final, triumphant championship match. Coy knows sports and he knows boys, and this soccer title, with its dramatic, stylized cover featuring a close-up of a boy booting a ball, will attract sports fans. The boys' concerns and emotions are honestly and realistically presented, as is their dialog, and of course there is lots of soccer field action. It is not necessary to have read Top of the Order to appreciate Eyes on the Goal, and this swift read will have lots of appeal for reluctant readers as well as soccer fans. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Jackson Kennedy has finished fifth grade, along with Diego, Gig, and Isaac. Diego, an experienced player, has convinced them all to attend a weeklong summer soccer camp at a local college. Initially, the boys are put on separate teams, because Jackson and Isaac are new to the sport. After enjoyable episodes with an alleged ghost and some girl interest, the four work together when Diego convinces a counselor to let them all play as a team for the final tournament. These friends exhibit a good sense of humor along with authentic-sounding complaints and bickering about playing and learning new skills. Personalities are further developed as Jackson finds his niche as a goalie and Diego exhibits humility as well as problem-solving talents on the field. Coy has created a story of just the right length to keep his fans engaged. It is not necessary to have read Top of the Order (Feiwel & Friends, 2009) to appreciate this one. Hints of fall football in middle school indicate that a third book is to follow.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429935777
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
04/13/2010
Series:
4 for 4 , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
547,553
File size:
209 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


I run up to midfield when the ball goes down to the other end and try to act like I know what I’m doing. I thought the purpose of soccer camp was to teach you to be a better player, not just run up and down the field in games…. In baseball, basketball, and football, I’ve always been pretty good. I never paid much attention to the kids who weren’t. Now I’m one of those. A spinning ball comes my way. It takes an awkward bounce and is about to go over my shoulder. Instinctively, I stick my hand out to stop it. “Hand ball. Hand ball,” everybody yells at once. “You can’t use your hand,” one of the little guys scowls at me. I turn away. Like I don’t know that. I walk over by Isaac as the other team lines up for a free kick. A mosquito buzzes my ear, and I wave it away. “I hate playing defense,” I say. “It feels like everything is coming at me way too fast.”

Meet the Author

John Coy is the aware-winning author of picture books (including Night Driving, illustrated by Peter McCarty), young adult novels, and the 4 for 4 middle-grade series. He live in Minneapolis and travels to schools nationaly and internationally.


John Coy has written several books for children, including Top of the Order and Love of the Game. He spends much of his time as a writer-in-residence at elementary schools. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Eyes on the Goal 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scder fun
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago