The Wild Soccer Bunch was created by a father who coached his sons’ soccer team and was inspired to write a book about his experience. Joachim Masannek blended true stories with his own childhood memories. His storytelling is fast paced and cinematic, and the stories are told from a child’s point of view, as if the writer’s voice morphed into the hero’s in each book.
Fabio, the son of a famous Brazilian soccer player, wants to join the Wild Soccer Bunch. But Fabio’s father has other plans. He makes his son play for the Furies, one of the best youth club teams in the country. The Wild Soccer Bunch is devastated, but Diego has a plan. He turns the Wild Soccer Bunch into a club team and challenges the Furies to a game! Can the Wild Soccer Bunch survive the game? Can their friendship endure the test?
There are a few things I like about this book. I like that it promotes sportsmanship, socio-economic diversity, teamwork, friendship. It shows kids how much fun team sports can be. I am not a big soccer fan but maybe my boys will someday, you never know!
I also like the way it starts:
Ahem! Excuse me? My name is Diego. Diego Hernandez. Maybe you’ve heard of me.
Some people call me ‘Asthma’, because I have asthma. Duh!
It surely sounds like a kid! And the illustrations are very funny!
My boys are 3 and 1.5 years old so this book is way ahead for them so the moment I realized there were insults in the book, like moron, loser, jerk, I decided not to read the book to them. This is something I did not like. Yes, I understand that middle-grade kids use those insults as part of their vocabulary (not saying that grown ups don’t) but I am trying hard to teach my boys to be polite and not use that kind of language.
But this was not as bad as the references of excessive drinking parents and a mom who entertains men. Really? They might not be such a big deal for young kids who are more interested on what the team is doing but for me, as a parent, I did not like this at all!
The book is rated for ages 8-14, but I would recommend it for the teens in that age range. You can surely take from this book: listen to your parents, don’t skip out on punishment, team work, friendship, treating other with respect.
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