Random, with the occasional fact as undeniably flabbergasting as, well, soccer-ball–sized hail.

READ REVIEW

THE SOCCER BOOK

A grab bag of soccer tidbits, gathered like so many acorns by Mills.

Mills took the soccer tree and gave it a good shake. Down came a rain of soccer thises and thats, a precious few basic to the game (like the size of a stadium), some meant to wow (like the stadium—it could only be in Rio de Janeiro—that once held 200,000), and a random swarm of crazies: the soccer field built on a tilt, the player who was traded for 33 pounds of sausage (in 2006!), and the Swiss soccer field that was overrun by frogs. (That is called an omen; game over, go home.) The book is composed of boxed items and free-floating paragraphs that come at readers like flashcards. The graphics are cheery and the photographs are sharp and telling, and there is a curious emphasis on scoring in a game known to go scoreless for ages and ages. Soccer greats are given 10 seconds of page time, and so are the hapless Joes. Women are given a nod, but men dominate. Does the sum of these parts give readers a greater appreciation of the game? No. Will they be able to lob a piece or two of trivia into a soccer conversation to establish street cred? Yes.

Random, with the occasional fact as undeniably flabbergasting as, well, soccer-ball–sized hail. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77085-730-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DANCING WHEELS

A stereotype about people with disabilities is shattered by this introduction to a dance company known as Dancing Wheels, a group composed of “sit down” and “stand-up” dancers. The story begins with Mary Fletcher-Verdi, born with spina bifida, a condition that causes weakness in the legs and spine. Mary always wanted to dance, and, encouraged by a family who focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t, she studied the art and eventually formed a mixed company, some who dance on their legs, and some who dance in wheelchairs. What she accomplished can be seen in this photo journal of the group’s dance workshop in which beginners and experienced dancers study and rehearse. Along the way, McMahon (One Belfast Boy, 1999, etc.) intersperses the history of the group, some details about the dancers, their families, and the rehearsal process that leads up to the final performance. Three children are featured, Jenny a wheelchair dancer, Devin, her stand-up partner, and Sabatino, the young son of Mary’s partner. The focus on these youngsters gives the reader a sense of their personalities and their lives with their families. Godt’s (Listen for the Bus, not reviewed, etc.) color photographs detail every aspect of the story and show the dancers at home and in rehearsal, interacting with each other, having fun, and finally performaning. They convey the dancer’s sense of joy as well as the commitment to the dance as an art form felt by the adult directors and teachers. An excellent book for helping children and adults expand their understanding about the abilities of the “disabled.” (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-395-88889-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE 25 GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYERS OF ALL TIME

In no particular order and using no set criteria for his selections, veteran sportscaster Berman pays tribute to an arbitrary gallery of baseball stars—all familiar names and, except for the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, retired from play for decades. Repeatedly taking the stance that statistics are just numbers but then reeling off batting averages, home-run totals, wins (for pitchers) and other data as evidence of greatness, he offers career highlights in a folksy narrative surrounded by photos, side comments and baseball-card–style notes in side boxes. Readers had best come to this with some prior knowledge, since he casually drops terms like “slugging percentage,” “dead ball era” and “barnstorming” without explanation and also presents a notably superficial picture of baseball’s history—placing the sport’s “first half-century” almost entirely in the 1900s, for instance, and condescendingly noting that Jackie Robinson’s skill led Branch Rickey to decide that he “was worthy of becoming the first black player to play in the majors.” The awesome feats of Ruth, Mantle, the Gibsons Bob and Josh, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and the rest are always worth a recap—but this one’s strictly minor league. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4022-3886-4

Page Count: 138

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more