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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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Pele always wanted to be a soccer star. When he put his mind and heart into it, he succeeded. This story shows the struggles that Pele went through to become who he is now. The illustrations were detailed to perfection and really captured the story. This story demonstrates to students the idea of following one's dreams and hard work does pay off. ( )
  sottallah | Apr 19, 2015 |
This was a very interesting book about the early life of the soccer player who came to be called Pele'. While it was great that it shows how young Edson (Pele's actual name) overcame economic hardships and being a struggling student to become a famous soccer player, There were a number of things I really didn't like about the book. I did not like at all how Edson's teachers treated him, and I'm not sure that the treatment, which in my estimation qualifies as child abuse, is appropriate for a children's book. This is particularly the case where the abuse is not dealt with. It seems like it was used for expositional "color." I also am not a excited about how they chose to include that Edson basically dropped out of school, suffering no repercussions from his family. These might be true facets of who Pele' was, but they felt like they were just thrown in, and no lasting results of this, if there were any were addressed. The Perma-bound School Library website lists it with a reading level: 5.0 and interest level: P-2 I'm not sure I agree with that. The reading level seems about on point, however, I think the interest level would go well beyond 2nd grade. I don't think I would be using this book in my class. ( )
  TaraKennedy | Apr 14, 2015 |
Overall this was a good biography. The main message of this book is to inform students about the famous soccer player, Pele. It also teaches children never to give up on their dreams. I really loved how the illustrator included his thoughts in the picture. For example, Pele was thinking about soccer scores while his classmates were thinking about math facts so in the picture there are random numbers and subtraction facts around him. This was a really unique way to illustrate what Pele is thinking. I also liked how the book was not only a biography but also talked about his family. For example Pele explains the role of his mother and father. This helps students understand the dynamics of an African American family and how they may be similar and/or different to their own. The one thing I wasn't too fond of is the lengthy text. I feel like the author could have done a better job separating it into different paragraphs and even different pages. This may make it easier for children to follow along and comprehend. Overall, this was an enjoyable biography. ( )
  bmalon6 | Mar 31, 2015 |
James Ransome tells the great story of the famous and amazing soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento also known as Pelé. This story takes us back to Pelé's younger days and shows how early on his love for soccer began. A good story that can be shared with the whole family. ( )
  K_Rodriguez | Nov 12, 2014 |
I liked this book for two reasons. Those reasons are the way it is written and the illustrations used. The big message of this book is that no matter how hard or impossible something may seem never give up on your dreams. Young Pelé began with nothing more than a ball of rags for a soccer ball and played with no shoes on his feet. Yet, he never gave up and he persevered to become the greatest soccer player of all time.
The writing in this book is clear and concise so it is easy for young readers to follow. Also the story is written in a way that flows with the reader and keeps them interested and entertained as it tells the tale of soccer’s true first star Pelé. The writing in this book is also quite action packed especially the descriptions used during the youth tournament soccer match for Pelé’s team. For example, “he bears down; he drives a kick to the right. The ball hits the goalpost, spins back, and flies through the goalie’s hands, straight into-Gooooooaaalllll!” This use of action verbs and the relation to the illustration keeps the reader excited to see what is going to happen next. This technique is helpful in keeping younger readers focused on the story as they feel they are a part of it.
The illustrations used in this book are fantastic and fit perfectly with the written text to give the reader better perspective on the events unfolding. The illustrations are large and detailed focusing much of their attention on how Pelé is feeling and using facial expressions in the illustrations to emphasize those feelings. This technique helps younger readers to identify with the main character as well as giving them an inside look to what he is experiencing. For example, following the text “He stared straight ahead at the chalkboard as his teacher spoke, but his mind was miles away” there is an illustration of young Pelé with just a slight smile on his face and an otherwise blank expression showing that while he is physically in class his mind is somewhere else entirely. Also the illustration of the youth soccer game is well drawn out and creates a scene of action as the reader reads the text and feels like they are watching the game live. These illustrations in combination with the great writing in this book make it a great choice for young readers because it will keep them entertained and focused while telling a true story. ( )
  BriannaLee | Oct 20, 2014 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:43 -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)

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