author: Mina Javaherbin
illustrator: Renato Alarcao
When Paulo Marcelo Feliciano becomes a soccer star, crowds will cheer his famous name — and his mother won’t have to work long hours. For now, Paulo spends his days working on a fishing boat and taking care of his little sister, Maria: she teaches him reading, and he teaches her soccer moves. At the end of the day he can finally play soccer with his friends. But when a player on Paulo’s team is injured, will they finally change the rules and let a girl show her stuff? Set in a country whose resilient soccer stars are often shaped by poverty, this uplifting tale of transcending the expected scores a big win for all.
“Perhaps most importantly, Javaherbin shows that being poor doesn’t stop people from having lives and dreams. A lovely story about soccer, gender, and hope.” — Kirkus Reviews