Javaherbin deftly handles Paulo and Maria’s poverty with honesty while simultaneously refraining from sugarcoating, overemphasizing or romanticizing it. Perhaps most importantly, Javaherbin shows that being poor doesn’t stop people from having lives and dreams. A lovely story about soccer, gender and hope.
Javaherbin follows Goal! with another moving story drawn from the world of soccer… During the team’s big match, Paolo finally allows his sister to join the team, a decision that’s both a small-scale victory and a symbol of promise on a larger scale: “It’s up to me, and my vote is for change.
The New York Times Online
Javaherbin gives her readers plenty to think about, but intimations of hardship can’t dim the children’s infectious pleasure in the game.
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Javaherbin’s opening note states, “My story is an homage to all soccer stars who have risen and continue to rise up from poverty,” and although fictional Paulo’s tale is certainly purposive, it’s not heavy-handed. … Javaherbin and Alarcao offer young soccer fans a thoughtful and engaging look at a lively team of dreamers.
San Francisco Chronicle
This timely picture book, set [in Brazil] in a favela, underscores the fun of the game and its allure, especially for poor kids looking to stardom as a way out. … A Brazilian illustrator offers spacious, digitally colored ink drawings to highlight play-by-play action and special skills. … Without being weighed down, this winning tale hits the big themes of poverty, gender, national pride and aspiration.
AWARDS AND MORE
- A Junior Library Guild Selection in 2014
- International Latin Book Awards gives Soccer Star two honorable mentions:
- Honorable Mention – Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book category– English 2015
- Honorable mention – Best Use of Illustrations Inside the Book – 2015
- Translated into Portuguese
- Published in United Kingdom under the name Football Star