It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!
Sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill
Written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by A.G. Ford
Candlewick Press, 2010
Suitable for: grades 3-5
Themes: soccer, bullying, friendship, teamwork
Opening and Brief Synopsis: “I have to get water from the well before dark. But I finished my homework, and right now it’s soccer time.” Six boys living in South Africa are enjoying a game of soccer in the dusty street. One must stand guard on the roof, because the streets are not safe. Then the bullies come. The boys are afraid they might lose their new federation-size soccer ball.
Links to resources: http://www.californiayoungreadermedal.org/ResourceGuide2011_2012/10PBOR.pdf
Why I like this book: Goal! is one of this year’s twenty nominees for the Texas Bluebonnet Book Award. It is my personal favorite. The book gives readers a small taste of what it is like to live in South Africa. It also highlights the game of soccer, or football, as it is known everywhere in the world except in the United States. Although conditions are difficult for these boys, they are still children, and they love to play soccer. When they play, they forget their worries. I never tire of reading this book aloud, and my third, fourth, and fifth grade students love it. I see the anticipation in their faces when the bullies come and the boys hide their new ball under the water bucket. Will the bullies find it? You’ll have to read Goal! to find out!
Watch the book trailer!