Josh and his best friend, Aiden, have finally made the cut to the United, an elite travel league soccer team. After playing for years together with the Flames, they struggle to adjust to their new team.
After hours of grueling practice and enduring team members who only look out for themselves, Josh wonders if he made the right decision to leave his old team. With so many talented players on the roster, Josh can't understand why they are always in the losers bracket.
A research project about the World Cup soccer championship gives Josh new insight as to what may help. During the course of his project, he learns that the 1999 United States Women's World Cup team faced many of the same challenges as the United. The team had many talented players, but couldn't seem to play together. Josh discovers the women used team building exercises to learn to work together. Could this work for his team? Josh musters the courage to approach his coach and give it a try. The skepticism his teammates show at first turns to confidence as the United bond together.
Though at times formulaic and predictable, author Fred Bowen manages to make the reader feel as if he is right there in the middle of the action. Any soccer fan will easily relate to the frustrations of building a team. The universal lesson of working together applies to any sport. A quick read that lends itself to a good book report choice. Good for the sports enthusiast.
- Publisher: Peachtree (Aug. 2012)
- ISBN: 978-1-56145-632-1
- Ages 7-12
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**I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for review purposes only. This in no way influenced by opinion about the book.
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