Cover image for Soccer star
Soccer star
Javaherbin, Mina, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Just in time for the World Cup, an inspiring story of a Brazilian boy who dreams of being a soccer star and the sister who steps in to help his team win a game.
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

AD 630 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 3.2

Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 165762.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.5 1 Quiz: 63512.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Crane Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Niagara Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



An inspiring story of a Brazilian boy who dreams of being a soccer star -- and the sister who steps in to help his team win a game.

When Paulo Marcelo Feliciano becomes a soccer star, crowds will cheer his famous name! Then his mother won't have to work long hours, and he won't have to work all day on a fishing boat. For now, Paulo takes care of his little sister Maria (she teaches him reading, he teaches her soccer moves) and walks her to school, stopping to give his teammates cheese buns as they set out to shine people's shoes or perform for the tourist crowd. At day's end, it's time to plan the game, where Givo will bounce, Carlos will kick, and Jose will fly! But when Jose falls on his wrist, will the team finally break the rules and let a girl show her stuff? Set in a country whose resilient soccer stars are often shaped by poverty, this uplifting tale of transcending the expected scores a big win for all.

Author Notes

Mina Javaherbin is the author of Goal!, illustrated by A. G. Ford. She was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States, where she is a practicing architect. She lives in Southern California.

Renato Alarc#65533;o has illustrated many children's books, including Roberto's Trip to the Top by John B. Paterson Sr. and John B. Paterson Jr. He lives in Brazil.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Aspiring soccer champion Paulo Marcelo Feliciano presents himself prior to the title page, declaring, Soon I will shine like a star. . . . like Garrincha, Pele, and Ronaldo, / who have all played in these alleys. Paulo introduces his teammates as they toil in various settings. At the end of their workday, the team gathers for a pickup soccer game where Paulo's sister, the only one who attends school, scores the winning goal with a dramatic bicycle kick. Paulo's enthusiasm for soccer is infectious, but the story also reveals Brazilian poverty, in which boys must work rather than attend school. Alarcao, himself from Brazil, provides scenes of modest homes stacked on a hillside, narrow passageways, and children at work more than at play. Still, the energetic art, rendered in sepia ink with digital coloration, also reflects Paulo's passion and exuberance, and views of fishing boats in the ocean and the hillside homes at twilight are especially dramatic. With the 2016 Olympics coming to Brazil, this is a timely story, but Paulo's dream will resonate with soccer fans long before and after that event.--Perkins, Linda Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Javaherbin follows Goal! with another moving story drawn from the world of soccer, this time focusing on a Brazilian boy named Paolo with big dreams for himself and his neighborhood team. Paolo's sense of hope is almost tangible in Alarcao's cinematically lit ink drawings, which show Paolo visiting his friends (like Paolo, they are all working to support their families). 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." Ages 5-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Paulo Marcelo Feliciano (aka Felino) dreams of rescuing his mother from long hours at work by achieving glory on the soccer field. As the story opens, the boy and his sister, Maria, set out for the day, bringing with them a bag of their mother's delicious cheese buns. Along the way, they dribble and kick the soccer ball. Maria longs to play in a game with her brother, but the "team's rule is no girls." Leaving Maria at school, Felino heads for the shore, where his boss waits by his fishing boat. Growing up impoverished in Brazil, Felino and his friends all work to help their families. Over the course of the day, Felino encounters Carlos, Jose, Givo, and Pedro, sharing his cheese buns with his teammates. He spends a long day on the water but finally returns to the beach, and the game begins. When Jose, the goalie, injures his wrist, Givo takes his place at the net, and the team calls Maria from the sidelines, refusing to let a "useless old rule" stand in the way of victory. Alarcao's luminous digitally colored sepia-ink illustrations elegantly portray the setting. The joyful expressions of the players as they dribble, knee, and bicycle kick the ball around the sandy soccer field reinforce the story's positive and inspiring tone. Readers who love the game will cheer on Felino and his team of hopeful soccer stars.-Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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