Friday, June 18, 2010

Book Review: The Wild Soccer Bunch


I have just finished reading the book "The Wild Soccer Bunch" by Joachim Masannek and illustrated by Jan Brick. This book is totally for fans of soccer, but as I found with my 9-year old son, even for those who just like a fun read. The book begins with Kevin (the main character of this book) giving us a run down of all his buddies. As the story progresses we meet "the bulldozer and his morons", a.k.a the bullies. From there the story progresses into the actual story-line.

Basic Story Line:
The basic gist of the story is that this group of die-hard soccer playing boys has to battle it out with the bigger/older bullies over who gets to "keep" the soccer field where they play non-stop. At 147 pages, it will feel like you only got a good glimpse of the boys and their funny ways before you reach the end. However, that is okay too, as there are going to be several more books in the series. (Apparently there are already two more that have been translated from the original German text to English as they have a preview in the back of this first book).

Below is my list of Pro's and Con's about why you should consider this book:

-A shorter read which mean that even reluctant readers will not be intimidated.
-Moves at a quick pace
-Great humor
-Clear writing with few, if any, parts that drag
-Wonderful illustrations
-Fun website to visit
-Two more books have been translated and are ready for you to read NOW!
-Good, hard binding on the book so it is durable
-My picky 9-year old said he would read more in the series (THIS IS HUGE!!!!)
-Reasonably priced. I was impressed to get a good quality binding with heavy paper pages for $12.95 at Amazon. Click HERE to check it out (AND ORDER)!

-There is a bit of language in this book. My 9-year old son didn't like it, but read past it. The words are not strong words (damn, and "God") but enough that it made him a little uncomfortable. This would totally be a parental call. While as a teacher I don't like this in books, I simply blacked out the words, and will still have it on my book shelf for my students to read.

Overall Impression and Recommendation:
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It is also endorsed by Landon Donovan, an MLS MVP, if that means anything to you. I love the attitude of the boys (a "we can do anything if we work together") and am hoping that my son and my students can learn to be more self-reliant and team oriented. While there is some mischief, I think that Mr. Masannek captures the behavior, thoughts, and actions of these 9-10 year old boys.

Remembering that this is NOT a paid book review (I don't want you thinking I am saying these things because there is a huge payoff- lol- I WISH!!!!) I would recommend that every family that has young readers (especially young boys and/or soccer players) invest in this book and the entire series. I plan the purchase the series for my classroom in the near future. Again, click HERE now to purchase or click HERE to visit the Wild Soccer Bunch website and learn more about Kevin and his friends as well as the author and illustrator!



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