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Celebrate soccer—and the World Cup!

“Uplifting and inspiring, this beautifully written and illustrated book reminds us of the joys and saving grace of friendship and sport.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

In a dusty township in South Africa, Ajani and his friends have earned a brand-new, federationsize soccer ball. They kick. They dribble. They run. They score. These clever boys are football champions! But when a crew of bullies tries to steal their ball, will Ajani and his friends be able to beat them at their own game?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763658229
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 269,077
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile: AD480L (what's this?)
Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

About the Author

Mina Javaherbin was born and raised in Iran and now lives in San Clemente, California. This is her debut picture book.

A. G. Ford is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Barack by Jonah Winter and Michelle by Deborah Hopkinson. He also contributed to Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook. He lives in The Colony,Texas.

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Goal! 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
missbrandysue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a small, poor town in South Africa Ajani wins a new regulated soccer ball for being a good reader in his classroom. His friends love playing but have to look out for bullies. Unfortunately, the friend looking out doesn't see them approaching. The boys hide the new ball in the pail and luckily the bullies don't see it. They pretend to cry as the bullies take their old soccer ball. Then they return to playing their favorite sport.A great multicultural story, especially one that ties into bullying that comes in many different forms. A very simple story but worthy of its Texas Bluebonnet children's book award.
ssajj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This vividly illustrated story takes place in South Africa where the narrator has just won a brand new soccer ball for being the best reader in his class. The narrator and his friends are very excited about the new soccer ball and immediately begin to play soccer. There is only one problem that can ruin their fun: bullies. Read how these young boys work together and come up with a plan to keep their new ball away from the street bullies.
laurakurtz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book about a group of boys in a small South African township. They thwart a group of bullies who try to steal their prize possession, a federation-size ball. The bullies arrive suddenly on bikes, even though the boys had planned ahead and posted a lookout atop a nearby building. I like the text, repeating ¿Left is clear. Right is clear,¿ to indicate that the boys are always aware that the streets are not safe. The illustrations are great- done in oil, and large, expressive, and colorful action shots, many full spread.
Pangle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ajani lives in South Africa. It is his job to get water for his family before dark, but first, it is time to play soccer with his friends. Ajani is so proud of his new federations-size football (soccer ball) that he earned for being the best reader in his class. They kick, they dribble, they run after their brilliant ball. While they play in the street, they take turns keeping a look out from the roof of a nearby building. They look out for each other because the streets are not always safe. But still, they kick, they dribble, they run after their brilliant ball. Until suddenly the game has to stop. They see the bullies; they are trapped. As long as the bullies don't see the new federation-size ball, they'll be safe. This is an enlightening and inspiring story of friendship and resilience.
ktextor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy who was rewarded in school by getting a new soccer ball! He lives in Africa and having a brand new soccer ball is a really big deal in the city or town where he lives. One day his friends are playing in the alley with the soccer ball and they stumble upon the bullies in the area! They hide their new soccer ball hoping that the bullies won't find it and take it! This is a great story about friendship and sticking together in order to make sure their secret of a brand new soccer ball isn't revealed!
dnati on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A group of young boys in Africa get a game of soccer going in their not-so-safe neighborhood. While everyone else is playing, one of the boys has to stay on the look out for bullies. The kids think the bullies will want to steal their brand new federation-sized leather ball. This is a great example of how characters use creative ways to problem solve in books. The boys hatch a plan to trick the bullies into stealing the wrong ball- a plastic one! Great illustrations.
BookDads More than 1 year ago
The game of soccer is known around the world as "the beautiful game." As a huge fan of soccer, I can find countless reasons to call it beautiful. However I really like how the author, Mina Javaherbin, describes soccer in her note on the inside of the back cover: "Football is magic to me. Where there is a ball, there's hope, laughter, and strength." This story has all of those above elements. In the group of boys playing soccer, those elements of hope, laughter, and strength are present in their friendships with each other and in their strength in facing up to the bullies. Not only is this an enjoyable read, but it can also be a great book for discussing how sports can be used to unify a community and help them deal in difficult times. It can also be a good way to discuss how kids in other countries deal with adversity. The story is also beautifully illustrated by A.G. Ford. The pictures are large and colorful oil paintings. Many of them are full spread action shots expressing the tensions of the story.