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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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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 |
As the title implies this book tells about the Brazilian soccer super star Pele. It however is not a typical biography. It only tells about the early years of his life and about his love for soccer. The book delves into the story of how he got his nickname Pele, how he began playing soccer in his first team and the struggles he phased because he was very poor, did not do well in school and his mother disapproved of his love for soccer because she wanted him to grow up to be a doctor or something of the like. At the end of the book Pele has discovered his dream and his mother accepts that he wants to play soccer.


As a children's book I would give this book 5 stars. The book is well written. The author makes Pele very relatable to children by telling the reader about how hard school was for Pele because he was not the typical student. The story focuses on themes like loyalty and friendship in terms that the children can understand. Finally overall it is a very entertaining book. It even gives cultural perspective because it tells about life in Brazil and in lower socioeconomic groups.

As a biography I find the book lacking. The book gave very little information about Pele. It mostly focused on his love of soccer, but anyone who knows Pele would already know about his passion for the game he is the king of. I also disliked that it ended after without giving the reader the end of the story. If I had been reading this book without knowing anything about Pele before hand I would be confused as to why this soccer player was so important. The book does not mention any of his accomplishments as an adult to justify why it is important we know about his early experiences. ( )
  ycinto1 | Oct 13, 2014 |
I liked this book for many reasons. One reason would be because the pictures were gorgeous. I love the way they were done. I like the water color look to them. Another reason I like this book was for the writing. I really enjoyed how the writer describe how he was thinking about and playing soccer. The big message of this story would be to never give up and always pursue your dreams. ( )
  rjayne2 | Oct 1, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book. I had never heard about this awesome young star, so I loved learning about a successful child prodigy! I really enjoyed the language the author used in the book. One of my favorite parts was when the author explain Edson day dreaming in class about scoring a goal. She put this paragraph in italics so the audience knew it was a thought. I can imagine reading that paragraph with enthusiasm to a group of young students! I also enjoyed the illustrations. They look like they were composed with paint. The very first page is a beautifully designed forrest with rich colors that automatically draw the audience in. The overall message of this story is to never give up on your dreams. ( )
  eschoe1 | Sep 30, 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 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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