Posted by: montclairlibrary | July 7, 2019

Soccer Books – Women’s World Cup Edition

15 Soccer Books for Kids with Important Female Characters, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

I’ve blogged before about soccer books for kids, but this edition features books specifically with women and girls (or, in some cases, female mice and rabbits) playing soccer, in honor of today’s World Cup final between the USA and the Netherlands. The female characters aren’t always the main character in these books, but they do fill important roles in each story. And while I’m not sure titles like “Pinkalicious: Soccer Star” and “Stacey the Soccer Fairy” really count towards female empowerment, it’s always a good thing to see yourself represented even a little bit in the books you read. Baby steps. (Maybe Megan Rapinoe will write a soccer-themed children’s book for us someday.)

P.S. Did you know that when you view children’s books in the OPL catalog, if you scroll down it shows you the book’s Lexile score and recommended grade level, as well as reviews and/or recommendations for other similar books?

Find out if a book is right for you using library catalog tools

Picture Books
Madlenka, Soccer Star by Peter Sís (J PICBK SIS)
Grades K-3
Madlenka plays soccer in her city neighborhood–with the mailbox, a dog, a parking meter, and some cats. Includes facts about the game, and translations for the word “soccer” in various languages.

Maisy Plays Soccer by Lucy Cousins (J PICBK COUSINS)
Grades K-3
Maisy and her friends can’t wait to play soccer! Maisy puts on her uniform, laces up her sneakers and heads to the field.

Winners Never Quit! by Mia Hamm (J PICBK HAMM)
Grades K-3
Soccer star and Olympic gold medalist Mia Hamm tells the story of how Mia, a competitive child in a large family, learns to be part of a team and work together with her six brothers and sisters.

Happy Like Soccer by Maribeth Boelts (J PICBK BOELTS) (not at Montclair)
Grades K-3
For soccer games Sierra rides a bus out of the city to fields that are nicer than the “lot” in her neighborhood, but she asks Coach Marco if the team might play in her neighborhood on a day her aunt does not work so her auntie can be at her last game.

Betty Bunny Wants a Goal by Michael B. Kaplan (J PICBK KAPLAN) (not at Montclair)
Grades K-3
When a young rabbit quits soccer after a disappointing first game, her family encourages her to keep trying.

The Field by Baptiste Paul (J PICBK PAUL) (not at Montclair)
Grades K-3
A girl and her younger brother rouse their community – family, friends, and the local fruit vendor – for a pickup soccer game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running, the field is cleared of cows and the game begins!

Soccer Star by Mina Javaherbin (J PICBK JAVAHERBI)
Grades K-3
Dreaming of becoming a soccer star so that his mother and he will not have to work such long hours, a Brazilian youth helps care for his little sister and prepares for a big game until an injury makes him consider letting a girl onto the team. By the author of Goal!

Easy Readers
Pinkalicious: Soccer Star by Victoria Kann (J READER KANN)
Grades K-3
Pinkalicious and her soccer team, the Pinksters, play their first game against the Ravens, but when the ball is kicked off the field Pinkalicious chases it and is picked up by Goldilicious for a trip around the world.

Chapter Books
Lola Levine Is Not Mean! (Lola Levine #1) by Monica Brown (J FIC BROWN)
Grades K-3
Second-grader Lola has a wonderful family, a great teacher and the best friend ever, Josh, and they all help her feel better after she is teased and forbidden to play team sports at recess for having accidentally hurt a classmate during a soccer game.

Stacey The Soccer Fairy by Daisy Meadows (J FIC MEADOWS)
Grades K-3
While everyone in Fairyland is getting ready for the Fairy Olympics, Jack Frost’s goblins steal the Sports Fairies’ magic objects, and without Stacey the soccer fairy’s magic ball, Rachel’s favorite soccer team will never reach their goal.

Saving the Team (The Kicks #1) by Alex Morgan (J FIC MORGAN)
Grades 4-8
This is the first book in a middle-grade series by 2015 World Cup champ Alex Morgan. After moving to California, seventh-grader Devin is afraid she will not make the soccer team but finds, instead, a team is so bad that she is compelled to take the lead and turn it into something the players and coach can all be proud of.

Soccer Show-Off by Jake Maddox (J FIC MADDOX) (not at Montclair)
Grades 4-8
Gina tries to be the star of the soccer team at her new school, but her teammates do not like her showoff moves.

The Mighty Dynamo by Kieran Crowley (J FIC CROWLEY) (not at Montclair)
Grades 4-8
When he is banned from his school’s soccer team for an infraction he didn’t commit, Noah must find his own way to enter the Schools’ World Cup tournament and joins up with an unlikely cast of co-ed teammates. “Some readers may be put off by the disparaging comments about ‘playing like a girl,’ but these comments are quickly rebuffed and only add to the truthfulness of adolescent situations.” (School Library Connection)

The Million Dollar Kick by Dan Gutman (J FIC GUTMAN) (not at Montclair)
Grades 4-8
“Thirteen-year-old Whisper Nelson hates soccer–and many other things about her life as a middle schooler at the bottom of the social food chain. One day she allows little sister Briana, a soccer ace, to enter her in a contest to make up a new slogan for Oklahoma City’s women’s soccer team. The winner is allowed a kick against the team’s professional goalkeeper, with a $1 million prize for a successful goal. Of course, shy, unhappy Whisper writes the slogan that wins, and her dealing with the publicity blitz and training for the kick once she decides to take the risk pull the story along to a highly satisfying and terrifically suspenseful conclusion.” (Booklist)

Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town by Warren St. John (YA 796.334 SAINT) (not at Montclair)
YA
This one’s non-fiction, but it features a female coach and feels like a story that needs to be heard now. American-educated Jordanian Luma Mufleh founds a youth soccer team comprised of children from Liberia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkan states, and elsewhere in the Atlanta suburb of Clarkston, Georgia, bringing the children together to discover their common bonds as they adjust to life in a new homeland. The story of The Fugees “touches on race, politics and religion.” (ReadBrightly.com)


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