7 Children’s Books About Soccer

Here is a collection of seven picture books for young soccer enthusiasts. If I had compiled a soccer-themed booklist a couple of years ago, the pickin’s would have been slim. However, during the lead-up to the 2010 and 2011 World Cups, many new soccer-themed picture books have been published, and a surprising number of these newly published books have been good. In fact, five of the seven books on the booklist below were published within the past year, including three standouts: Madlenka Soccer Star by Peter Sís, Goal! by Mina Javaherbin, and Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson.*

Madlenka Soccer Star by Peter Sís. A fantastic, humorous picture book about a young girl Madlenka looking for someone to play soccer with. An excellent choice for young soccer players! Ages 4+

For the Love of Soccer! by Pelé and Frank Morrison. A straightforward introduction to Brazilian soccer star Pelé for very young soccer fans. For the Love of Soccer! features dynamic illustrations by Frank Morrison of Pelé and young kids playing soccer. Ages 4+

Winners Never Quit! by Mia Hamm and Carol Thompson. A story with a message for young athletes: You must learn to accept losing when you play sports. The endnotes of Winners Never Quit! introduce young readers to U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm. Ages 4+

Soccer For Fun! by Kenn Goin. The best non-fiction introduction to soccer I have found. Soccer For Fun! introduces kids to soccer rules, soccer skills, and soccer history. This book does a nice job of introducing the basic rules of the game and getting kids excited about playing and watching soccer. Ages 5+

Soccer Hour by Carol Nevius and Bill Thomson. A rhyming book that describes teammates enjoying soccer practice. Bill Thomson’s striking, photographic illustrations depict kids kicking, heading, and dribbling a soccer ball from a variety of angles. Soccer Hour includes somewhat advanced soccer terminology, making this book a better choice for kids who have played soccer. Ages 5+

Goal! by Mina Javaherbin and A. G. Ford. In this riveting story, a group of young boys in a South African shantytown must hide their prized soccer ball from a group of older bullies. Impressive illustrations by A.G. Ford. Ages 5+


Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson. A moving story about the joy playing soccer brings to a group of kids displaced by the tragic earthquake in Haiti. Ages 5+


*Incidently, four of the seven books on this booklist have titles that end with exclamation points!

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11 Responses to 7 Children’s Books About Soccer

  1. Edna Gee says:

    So I am teaching English to an Italian boy of six who is absolutely obsessed with soccer. Which one would be great to use to read to him and let him read? He will start school in September and can already read a little in Italian.

  2. Thanks for including GOAL! I do giveaways on my FB like page during the summer, please keep in touch and click on like! To win GOAL! Happy summer reading. Read on, play on!
    Best Mina

  3. Anne says:

    This is a good range of books ~ wanted to also mention a new picture book that is just released: HAPPY LIKE SOCCER http://laurencastillo.blogspot.com/2012/05/happy-like-soccer-release.html

  4. Courtney says:

    We love Sergio Saves the Game by Edel Rodriguez. Look forward to checking these out, and other suggestions from your site. I am excited to have stumbled on this list accidentally.

  5. Sean says:

    Our local Major League Team has a great soccer book for kids called Soccer Dreams: Playing the Seattle Sounders FC Way. IMHO: The story has universal appeal and is worth a look with awesome full color photos and illustrations. I found it here: http://www.amazon.com/Soccer-Dreams-Playing-Seattle-Sounders/dp/0615432360

  6. Toni says:

    AWESOME ENTRY.

    Okay, let me pedal back. I just did a round-up for the Book Review Blog Carnival and am so happy I came upon your blog. My first reaction was I HAVE THAT BOOK!! I’m referring to your header. My son absolutely LOVES that book. Second reaction, I LOVE YOUR BLOG. Definitely bookmarking this. I will be back for more more more!

    And super awesome entry because my kid loves books AND soccer. You just helped me make him love both even more. Many many many thanks. Now off to the bookstore to see if they have these titles. I hope they do! Thank you so much Amy.

  7. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the round up about soccer books. I can never have enough of these it seems! A new Usborne series that’s been popular with younger readers in my library is DINO FC – about dinosaurs who play “football” (aka soccer)

  8. I have to second Teri’s comment – this is a wonderful list! I’ve reviewed Bill Thomson’s Chalk, and I’m excited to see that he did something related to soccer as well. =)

  9. Teri says:

    Thanks for this great list! One more (w/ soccer ball on cover, too!):

    “A Little Piece of Ground” by Elizabeth Laird, about boys in Ramallah seeking a place to play soccer while living under occupation.

    Teri

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