Soccer Sabotage (Graphic Guide Series)

( 1 )


With suspicious accidents and mounting threats against the team, it's up to Devin and his sister Nadia to pull the team together and take a run at the championship.
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With suspicious accidents and mounting threats against the team, it's up to Devin and his sister Nadia to pull the team together and take a run at the championship.
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Editorial Reviews

Through a Child's Eye: Writing and Reviews of Children's Literature blog
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"This book in the Graphic Guide Adventure provides plenty of soccer action; tips on how to dribble, pass, and protect the goal; and a solid mystery. Deas draws a multicultural cast, and it’s also nice to see the best kicker is not a slender little girl. The story should appeal to both boys and girls."
Quill & Quire
"Deas' illustrations are full of life. This is especially true in the soccer scenes, where vibrant colours and a sure hand give the images the impression of real movement."
CM Magazine
"Soccer fans and just about anyone will enjoy reading this book whether they want to learn tips or read some mystery. It's definitely worth the read. Highly recommended."
Puget Sound Council
"Providing the tips and making both male and female characters a strong part of this multi-cultural team, the author and illustrator have created a well-written and interesting story that should provide a following for other books in this series."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"What makes this book unique is that O'Donnell/Deas give soccer tips with step-by-step illustrations and explanations using the characters for the reader to follow. O'Donnell/Deas then take those tips and incorporates them into the tournament games for the reader to see the actual skill demonstrated. Whether you like soccer or mysteries, this is a great book for curl up to. Recommended."
"This book in the Graphic Guide Adventure provides plenty of soccer action; tips on how to dribble, pass, and protect the goal; and a solid mystery. Deas draws a multicultural cast, and it's also nice to see the best kicker is not a slender little girl. The story should appeal to both boys and girls."
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6–Nadia is put in charge of the London Lions soccer team when Nate Bowers, her coach, suffers a fall just as the team makes it to the under-18 Canadian national championships. She faces pressure from her teammates, who doubt her leadership ability, and from Aidan, the rival team’s assistant coach. Nadia is lucky, though. She has had a lot of good training from her coach and she has her younger brother. Devin, with the help of Coach Bowers’s son, is determined to find out who is out to sabotage the London Lions. There’s some clever dialogue, and the full-color cartoons have a lot of action, particularly Nadia’s hair-raising escape from the villain at the end. This entertaining story provides soccer instruction as well as mystery.–Lisa Gieskes, CA Johnson Preparatory Academy, Columbia, SC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551438849
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Graphic Guides Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 714,288
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Deas is the illustrator of the bestselling Graphic Guide Adventure series. His love for illustrative storytelling developed at an early age while growing up on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Capilano College's Commercial Animation Program in Vancouver helped Mike fine-tune his drawing skills and imagination. Mike enjoys traveling, and he has worked in England and California as a concept artist, texture artist and art director in the video game industry. Mike and his wife Nancy live in sunny Victoria, British Columbia.

Liam O'Donnell was born in Northern Ireland and came to Canada when he was five years old. He studied media at Ryerson University and has worked on film sets in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. He is the author of the popular Max Finder Mysteries. Liam now teaches elementary school in Toronto. Visit for more information.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Soccer Sabotage

    O'Donnell, L. (2009). Soccer Sabotage: A graphic guide adventure. Custer, WA: Orca Book Publishers.


    Devin, the little brother to the team captain of the Lions soccer team tags along as an assistant coach to the Under-18 Canadian National Championships. While at practice, their coach is seriously injured and Devin suspects a foul play. (Ha! I'm hilarious)

    While presenting a mystery, this graphic novel-one in a larger series-pauses the narrative occasionally to explain some of the proper techniques to play soccer, such as working as a team, being a good team captain, controlling the ball, defending, and scoring.

    I like that the story features a women's soccer team, but is still predominantly following the events with a boy. This should help both genders to engage with the text. Devin's presence stops the graphic novel from becoming a "girl book," but also shows girls' being athletic and strong. It is also interesting to note, that there are multiple minority figures on the soccer team and all of the girls, except one, are shown to be skinny. While it is possible to make the argument that these are characters who are among the best at their sport, so of course they should all be healthy. An argument could also be made that there is "one token heavy girl." Pick your side.

    The illustrations neither hinder nor improve upon the story. The language and dialogue are neither painful nor poetic to read. Together the art and words express the information and narrative well, without distracting from their lessons or overall story. The mystery itself is fairly well crafted with multiple suspects.

    Activities to do with the book:

    This graphic novel would be great for a reluctant reader who is crazy about soccer, or for a little extra homework for middle grade members of a soccer team.

    Students could also create their own panels of illustrations contributing their own knowledge about how to play soccer, or even make comics for other sports.

    Students could also create a chart or poster of possible suspects and motives for hurting the Lions' captain. While this technique could help organize all stories, with this book students have the fun pretence of pretending to be a detective.

    A soccer team could try to reenact some of the games to learn the lessons presented in the book. Soccer Sabotage could also be used as a cautionary tale to encourage goodwill among team members.

    Favorite Quotes:

    "They call soccer the beautiful game. Watch international stars like Ronaldo or Beckham play the game and you'd have to agree. Watch my sister Nadia and you'd have your doubts."

    "I'm coach for less than a minute and I've already got a mutiny on my hands."

    "Maybe I'd read too many detective comics, but seeing Nate lying on the ground sent my stomach tumbling and that told me one thing: This wasn't an accident. Nate was pushed."

    For more of my reviews, visit

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