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The Soccer Fence: A story of friendship,…

The Soccer Fence: A story of friendship, hope, and apartheid in South…

by Phil Bildner

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This story is about a little by named Hector who lives in South Africa. He was a huge soccer fan but could never join the other boys playing soccer at his mothers work because of the apartheid. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison and became the president of South Africa the apartheid came to an end. Then Hectors favorite soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, and Hector realized that although many things were impossible at the time they can always change and anything could happen. This book really shows how life changed for the people of South Africa when Nelson Mandela became president and how sports can bring people together and create great friendships. ( )
  Michelle.Martin | Mar 15, 2017 |
An inspiring story about the power of sports to bridge cultural and racial chasms in South Africa as apartheid comes to an end. Great illustrations by Jesse Watson. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Summary: "The Soccer Fence" is a fictional story about the strength of friendship in sports. Hector is an African-American boy who loves the game of soccer. Twice a month, he rides the bus into the city of Johannesburg. Here, Hector watches how white boys play soccer together. They hardly ever notice Hector, who wants nothing more but to befriend them and play. When South Africa was chosen to host the 1996 African Cup of Nations, Hector was excited. He got to see his team play. During the final game, Hector cheers on his team and favorite player. He sees one of the white boys from before, who looks back at Hector. They put their differences aside and cheer on their own teams to victory.

Review: This is a great children's book about apartheid and friendship in South Africa. The white boy, wanting nothing to do with Hector, realizes the two have a great common trait: the love for soccer. The story's title, "The Soccer Fence", refers to the fence that Hector looks over in the beginning. By the end, however, the two are friends and play together on the field with the same fence. While a great story on friendship in sports, I got the feeling that some readers may get confused with some of the text in the story. Occasionally, the story was interrupted with a random fact about something going on in South Africa. Nevertheless, I would still consider this a good children's book. ( )
  cclark37 | Dec 9, 2014 |
I thought this book was a great book. One reason why I liked it was because of the illustrations. They took up the entire page and were filled with bright colors that made the book really engaging. Another reason why I loved the book was the plot. It not only talked about the sport of soccer but it also talked about South African Culture and history. For example, it talked about Nelson Mandela being freed and apartheid being over. In the back of the book there was an apartheid timeline. Also, throughout the book the main character, who is black, and another young boy who is white, came together through the sport of soccer. The main theme of this book would be hope and friendship. ( )
  david.endres | Oct 8, 2014 |
Good story ( )
  melodyreads | May 29, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399247904, Hardcover)

In a country struggling with acceptance, hope can come in many different forms.
As a boy, Hector loved playing soccer in his small Johannesburg township. He dreamed of playing on a real pitch with the boys from another part of the city, but apartheid made that impossible. Then, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and apartheid began to crumble. The march toward freedom in South Africa was a slow one, but when the beloved Bafana Bafana national soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, Hector realized that dreams once impossible could now come true.
This poignant story of friendship artfully depicts a brief but critical moment in South Africa’s history and the unique role that sports can play in bringing people together.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:48 -0400)

Each time Hector watches white boys playing soccer in Johannesburg, South Africa, he dreams of playing on a real pitch one day. After the fall of apartheid, when he sees the 1996 African Cup of Nations team, he knows that his dream can come true.

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