Owen Foote, Soccer Star

Overview

Owen Foote knows that soccer is the greatest sport in the world. He's so excited about being old enough to join the town soccer league that he has talked his best friend, Joseph, into signing up too. But Joseph turns out to be terrible at soccer. That's not the only thing troubling Owen: the other kids on his team, the Aliens, seem to be bigger and older and better at soccer than he is, and at least one of them is mean. But Owen isn't about to give up his best friend or his favorite sport without a struggle. ...

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Overview

Owen Foote knows that soccer is the greatest sport in the world. He's so excited about being old enough to join the town soccer league that he has talked his best friend, Joseph, into signing up too. But Joseph turns out to be terrible at soccer. That's not the only thing troubling Owen: the other kids on his team, the Aliens, seem to be bigger and older and better at soccer than he is, and at least one of them is mean. But Owen isn't about to give up his best friend or his favorite sport without a struggle. Readers will cheer for Owen as he and Joseph face new challenges on and off the field and come up winners.

When eight-year-old Owen and his best friend Joseph join a neighborhood soccer league, they not only face a test of their game skills but also of their friendship.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The good-natured star of Greene's debut novel, Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman, returns, now old enough to play in the big-time town soccer league. Even though his best friend, Joseph, has never played soccer before and can't run or kick, Owen has talked him into signing up for the team. However, when Walter, the team bully, ridicules Joseph's abilities in front of the other players, Owen denies he's Joseph's friend. Thus Greene sets the field for what is bound to be an about-face on Owen's part, and the earnest boy obliges. He courageously speaks out against the coach's plan to divide the team into two groups based on skill which would separate him from Joseph and delivers a much-deserved comeuppance to Walter even though it entails a soccer maneuver of questionable legality. Making her tale even sunnier, Greene finds a comfortable position for the bumbling Joseph, who shines playing in goal. Owen's close rapport with his parents and older sister adds extra warmth to this accessible novel, whose brief sentences, limited vocabulary and cheery drawings make it a good pick for those ready to graduate from picture books. Imparted with humor, the author's message about the importance of being a true friend will escape no youngster. Ages 6-8. Mar.
Children's Literature - Bruce Adelson
Everyone knows that soccer is simply Owen Foote's favorite sport. His parents and his second grade friends are all intimately familiar with Owen's athletic passion. Owen is thrilled when he is old enough to sign up for the local soccer league. His enthusiasm proves infectious, since he is able to convince his best friend Joseph to join him, even though he has never played soccer before. They and other children come together as the Aliens, exactly the type of soccer league team that Owen has been dreaming about. But Owen's joy soon evaporates when he discovers Joseph's soccer shortcomings. Their friendship is tested when Joseph's clumsiness prompts derision from the other players and tests Owen's commitment to this relationship. While Owen improves as a soccer player, he also becomes an even better friend to Joseph. This entertaining work features well-developed characters and a keen description of life among 8 and 9 year olds. It has the added attraction of adroitly focusing on soccer, the game of choice for many young children. These qualities make this an attractive choice.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3--Owen, who has been playing soccer since kindergarten, talks his good friend Joseph into joining a team. Joseph is new at the game and his first attempts to play it are clumsy. When a bully begins to ostracize him on the field, Owen must decide if he will defend his friend. The plot is straightforward and fast paced without any play-by-play action to slow it down. Greene understands second graders and her descriptions of their interests, fears, humor, and embarrassing moments ring true. Occasional black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings animate this beginning chapter book. Readers familiar with Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman (Clarion, 1996) will be pleased to find this sequel, yet those who haven't will not have skipped a beat.--Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A second grader sees adults making mistakes, and helps one grown-up get it right in this predictable empowerment story, a sequel to Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman (1996). After persuading overweight friend Joseph to join him for soccer tryouts, Owen has second thoughts: Not only are both of them bad-mouthed by a bully, but the coach, Dave, divides the "Aliens" into two teams according to ability. The members of the B team, including Joseph, rightly wonder if they'll ever get into a real game. Owen considers quitting; instead, he calls Dave to explain how demoralizing the split is, and also picks up a bully-handling tip from a friendly seventh grader. Though she creates natural-sounding dialogue, and uses language and humor appropriate to her target audience, Greene focuses on Owen's systematic problem-solving at the expense of plot, character development, even soccer action. By the end, Dave has apologetically reunited the Aliens, the bully is properly chastened, and Joseph turns out to be a natural goalie. With realistic black-and-white drawings to capture some of the action, this is a lightweight, neatly wrapped package of uplift. (Fiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618130559
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 485,401
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Weston was the author and illustrator of two charming picture books about Tuck, as well as the illustrator of Clarion's successful Owen Foote books by Stephanie Greene. Martha Weston died in 2003.

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