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SOCCERLAND by Beth Choat


From the International Sports Academy series

by Beth Choat

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5724-4
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Fourteen-year-old Flora struggles with her dual role as star soccer player at her rural Maine high school, dreaming of playing for the U.S. Soccer Girl’s National Team, and her family’s centuries-old tradition of potato farming. The need to succeed at soccer and honor the memory of her mother, a fellow soccer enthusiast, engulfs Flora in the two years following her mother’s death from cancer. When the invitation to attend a two-week National Team Identification Camp for her age group at the International Sports Academy in Colorado arrives, Flora eagerly accepts. Once there, she quickly realizes that being the best player at her high school is completely different from working and competing with equally skilled peers. Flora must deal with bullies, a fledgling crush and demanding coaches. Choat’s examination of the dedication, effort and sacrifice needed to become a national-level player is riveting and inspiring. She explores barriers to success a young female athlete can face, from coping with competitors’ taunts to self-esteem and family issues. Readers will be rooting for Flora as she struggles to achieve her goals. (Fiction. 12 & up)