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Young Pele: Soccer's First Star by Lesa…

Young Pele: Soccer's First Star

by Lesa Cline-Ransome

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In my opinion this is a great book. I liked the plot of the book. The story starts with Edson(Pele) forming a soccer team and easing money to buy shoes to play and ending with the team winning against a professional team. The organization of this story is great because it doesn't start talking about how famous Pele is and how many goals he scored. It starts describing his house, neighborhood and how humble he was as a child. I also really like the last page of the book where is talks about how Pele became the most famous soccer player in the world scoring over 1300 goals and a lot more impressing facts about him. The illustrations in this book are also very informative. They show when Pele was plying soccer without shoes as well as how he was scoring the goals. Even of you don't read the story you can still look at the pictures and understand the book. The main idea of this book is to let the readers know about Pele's childhood and how he was as humble as all of us before becoming what he is today. ( )
  dtato1 | Mar 8, 2014 |
Young Pele' is a brilliant story about a young boys determination and dedication in becoming a soccer player. When no one understood his dreams he continued to strive in order to be the person he was destined to be: The first African American Soccer player
  bmmander | Nov 26, 2013 |
Pele is not your average child. He was short in school, but loved playing soccer. It is an inspiring story and a great story to read. ( )
  MaryEttaJ | Apr 24, 2013 |
This informational picture book tells the inspiring story of how a young man overcame great adversity to become one of the greatest soccer players of all time. As a child, Edson Arantes do Nascimento struggled in school and spent most of his time daydreaming about soccer. His socioeconomic status left him and his friends playing soccer shoeless, but his skills on the field could not be denied. His friends gave him the nickname Pelé and the rest is history.

This book is a great biography for a younger audience and for those who have a particular love of soccer. Historically, it shows the giant divide between social classes in early twentieth century Brazil. Pelé and his friends played soccer shoeless and with a ball made of rags. They played against teams who had sponsors and great coaches, but they won in local matches and garnered enough attention to become widely known in their native country. This book could open children's eyes to the different situations facing other children in the world and make them understand the hardships and eventual triumphs of people who work hard to better themselves.

Like other nonfiction/fiction hybrids, I would argue that this book blurs that line. I think it accurately portrays Pelé's
adverse childhood, however it adds little quotes and ideas that help the narrative but couldn't be proven such as the anecdotes about his friends, family, and school life. It's chronological organization and clear sentence structure is easy to follow. The accompanying water color images are beautifully done and add to the emotion of the narrative. In particular, the images of Pelé's face convey the intimidation and eventual triumph of the young man.

I don't believe this book would be appropriate for the secondary level, but Pelé's story could be discussed when I talk about South American cultures in the twentieth century particularly Brazil. His story is even more relevant with the next Olympics taking place in Brazil. His story and his talent forever changed soccer in the twentieth century, and his childhood could inspire other children who live in similar situations. ( )
  kaamstutz | Jan 24, 2013 |
Edson was nicknamed "Pele" by his teammates on his soccer team. Pele was a child of poverty who rose to fame by being a very talented and well-known soccer player throughout Brazil. In elementary school he always got in trouble because he never focused on what he was supposed to be focusing on, everything he thought was about soccer. He eventually gave up school altogether to play soccer. His teammates and himself came up with ways to earn money to buy team shirts, shorts, and socks. They still couldn't afford shoes, but when the town's mayor announced that he'd be sponsoring a soccer tournament for teams with proper uniforms, fathers of the players offered help to purchase their shoes so they could be eligible. He became team captain because he was hardest player on the team and because he had so much knowledge for soccer. He scored the winning goal for the tournament. The author's note at the end explains his life as the greatest soccer player world wide. This biography tells the reader that no matter the circumstances, if you have a dream, you should reach for the stars, going above and beyond to make your dream come true. In the classroom, this book could be used when teaching the importance of biographies and it could extend to a writing lesson where students could write about a dream of theirs and how they could turn their dream into reality. The beautiful oil painted illustrations are sure to keep the readers attention. ( )
  ahernandez91 | Oct 22, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375835997, Hardcover)

HOW DID A POOR BOY named Edson—who kicked rocks down roads and dribbled balls made from rags—go on to become Pelé, the greatest soccer player of all time? While other kids memorized letters, Edson memorized the scores of soccer matches. And when Edson finally played in a youth soccer tournament in the town of Bauru, Brazil, he focused on only one thing from the moment the whistle blew: the goal.


Here is the picture book biography of the boy who overcame tremendous odds to become the world champion soccer star Pelé.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

How did a poor Brazilian boy - who kicked rocks down roads and dribbled balls made from rags - go on to become the greatest soccer player of all time? Here is the inspiring story of the boy who, with great determination, lightning speed, and amazing skill, overcame tremendous odds to become the world champion soccer player, Pele - book.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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