Red card it.

READ REVIEW

SOCCER SCHOOL

WHERE SOCCER EXPLAINS (RULES) THE WORLD

From the Soccer School series , Vol. Season 1

Bellos and Lyttleton team up to create the ultimate school, one in which every subject from biology to zoology is focused through the world of soccer.

The premise is an interesting one, and the book begins successfully enough with biology, where readers learn about the importance of a soccer player’s diet as well as gain a cursory understanding of the digestive system. Each chapter is similarly themed—with varying levels of success—and readers learn about different subjects while picking up facts and trivia about international teams. Each chapter begins with a cartoon rendering of the authors and a few puns and ends with an equally punny player’s card for the star student in the class and a quiz. For instance, Tulip Feaver is star student of philosophy class, where readers learn about famous Dutch coaches Marinus Michels and Johan Cruyff and how their strategies changed international play. While the player’s cards are amusing and offer a variety of genders and a bit of ethnic diversity, the quizzes are less successful. The questions asked frequently have nothing to do with the preceding chapter and vary between those that are specific to soccer and general knowledge. This may be the most frustrating aspect of the book; how do you become a star student if the instructors are quizzing you on things you’ve never been taught?

Red card it. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0435-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be...

CIRCUS MIRANDUS

One strange afternoon, 10-year-old Micah Tuttle finds out that magic is real.

Micah always thought Grandpa Ephraim’s wild stories of the centuries-old Circus Mirandus were spun solely for his amusement. But when his dying grandfather writes a letter to the “Lightbender,” hoping to call in the miracle the magician had promised him as a boy, Micah learns the stories were true, and the appearance of Ms. Chintzy, the circus’ cantankerous parrot messenger, clinches the deal. Happily, Micah finds a loyal if somewhat challenging friend to help him track down the elusive light-bending magician: the magic-leery, science-minded Jenny Mendoza. Their budding rapport is nuanced and complex, a refreshing illustration of how absolute like-mindedness is not a prerequisite for friendship. On one level, the book is a fantastical circus romp, with fortunetelling vultures and “a wallaby that could burp the Greek alphabet.” On another, it’s both serious and thick with longing: Micah’s ache for the companionship of his once-vital guardian-grandfather; Grandpa Ephraim’s boyhood yearning for his absent father, as fleshed out in flashbacks; the circus founders’ desire to keep enchantment alive in a world where “faith is such a fragile thing.”

A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-525-42843-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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Readers will cheer the birth of this comedian.

STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG!

Eleven-year-old Yumi Chung doesn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch, but she secretly harbors dreams of becoming a comedian. Shy + Asian + Girl = Comedian? Why, yes. Yes, it does.

Winston Preparatory Academy is a shy person’s nightmare. Yumi hides from the beautiful girls and the bullies who call her “Yu-meat” because she smells like her parents’ Korean barbecue restaurant. This summer, her parents are demanding that she go to Korean summer school, or hagwon, to get a near-perfect score on the high school entrance exam—because that is the only way to attend an elite college, like her superachiever sister, a 20-year-old med student. Yumi collects all of her fears and frustrations (and jokes) in her Super-Secret Comedy Notebook. When a case of mistaken identity allows her to attend a comedy camp taught by her YouTube idol, Yumi is too panicked to correct the problem—and then it spirals out of control. With wonderful supporting characters, strong pacing, and entertaining comedy bits, debut author Kim has woven a pop song of immigrant struggle colliding with comedy and Korean barbecue. With their feet in two different cultures, readers listen in on honest conversations, full of halting English and unspoken truths painting a realistic picture of 21st-century first-generation Americans—at least a Korean version. By becoming someone else, Yumi learns more about herself and her family in an authentic and hilarious way.

Readers will cheer the birth of this comedian. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55497-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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