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Javaherbin, Mina

(Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
In a dangerous alley in a township in South Africa, the strength and unity which a group of young friends feel while playing soccer keep them safe when a gang of bullies arrives to cause trouble.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780763645717
Branch Call Number: J PIC J
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Additional Contributors: Ford, AG Illustrator


From Library Staff

a South African township, a group of friends outwit bullies to save
their prized new soccer ball. Vigorous action and a vivid sense of
place come through strongly in Ford’s full-page street scenes.

A compelling story about soccer, friendship, and some of the hardships of growing up in South Africa.

From the critics

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Dec 30, 2014
  • laedeechai rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Team spirit, taking care of others, pure enjoyment of sport, taking one's mind off the worry, and the joy of a new federation-size soccer ball (or "football" as it's known in so many other countries)are some of the thematic elements in "Goal".

This is the story of Ajani and five friends on a bright, warm day on a street in a South African township. Anjani has receigved this new soccer ball for being the best reader in his class. The street is dusty, the houses made of wood slabs and tin. The street is dangerous, the soccer a way to distract so that the boys "forget to worry". As Anjani explains, "When we run, we are not afraid."

Yet the danger as these streets know so well, does appear. A group of other boys approach to inquire and to acquire a soccer ball. But this is Anjani's new soccer ball. A federation-size one.

In their comaraderie, Anjani and his friends need to find a way to save this ball from being stolen and themselves from being hurt by these boys.

Written in poetic style, this story provides a subtle indication of the worries of street tensions and crippling poverty and that plight millions in South Africa's townships. It also beautifully highlights the respite from these troubles which the soccer ball provides millions in these same places.


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