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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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There are several reasons why I like this book, two of which are the characters and plot. The story is about a young boy with a passion for soccer; he works hard and proves to his family and community that he has the potential to be a star. The little boy in the story, Pele, does not do well in school and soccer is always on his mind. He and his friends spend hours practicing everyday as he learns new skills and becomes confident in his abilities. His character is so determined and the author demonstrates his love for soccer through his actions and feelings.

The plot of the story is also very strong in this book as it incorporates conflict, a climax, and a resolution. Pele struggles to be taken seriously throughout his time playing soccer because many see his interest as a hobby and that he should focus more on school. The author notes that after long hours of practice, “When they returned home, Dona Celste [his mother] was always waiting in the doorway, shaking her head”. Pele and his team decide to sign up to play in a youth tournament, however they must raise money for shoes a uniform and coach. This conflict and climax create for an interesting plot as the resolution shows Pele as a talented soccer star. The big message of the story is that with all dreams, you must set goals and work hard to achieve them in you want to receive the recognition you deserve. ( )
  gretchencompere | Mar 6, 2016 |
This book is about a young boy named Edson, who will later be known as Pele. Edson grew up in Brazil and always had soccer on his mind, whether it was during school or in his dreams he knew one day he would be somebody. Edson and his friends created a soccer team and worked endlessly to better themselves so that they would be the best. Although they were all poor and did not even have shoes, this never stopped them. The mayor announced that there would be a tournament for any team who had a uniforms and shoes. With the right help, Edson now Pele had a team that was working together and able to enter the tournament! At the event the team was amazing, their practice really paid off! Pele finally was able to live out his dreams and prove that it did not matter what background you came from. This book is truly inspirational and is a great book for students to read. They are not always aware what other backgrounds or obstacles people have to face, this would be a great book for them to become aware. ( )
  mlanford3 | Jan 20, 2016 |
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 |
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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)

» see all 2 descriptions

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