THE WILD SOCCER BUNCH, KEVIN THE STAR STRIKER
Title: The Wild Soccer Bunch, Kevin the Star Striker
Ages: Middle Grade
Author: Joachim Masannek
Illustrator: Jan Brick
Hardback: 145 pgs
Publisher: Sole Books
Publication Date: 2010, Wild Soccer USA, Inc.
Reviewed by Kathy Stemke
Kevin, the star striker, grabs your attention immediately with his action packed description of each member of the Wild Bunch. The action continues with down to earth dialogue as we experience their passionate love and devotion to the game of soccer. With the birth of spring, each unique personality must overcome many obstacles just to get to the soccer field.
When they finally manage to get to the field, they find themselves surrounded by Mickey the bulldozer and his gang, the Unbeatables. This older, bigger, and meaner gang has taken over the field.
Kevin explains, “He (Mickey the bulldozer) stomped across the wet field; his every step turned the muddy water into steam. The ground shook. So did his flabby paunch. But underneath all that fat were iron muscles and a black heart.”
Instead of running, the Wild Bunch stands their ground and challenges the Unbeatables to the most important game of their lives. The winner takes back the field.
When they turn to Larry, the alcoholic lemonade guy and ask for help, they are in for a few surprises. The Wild Bunch learns many life lessons about teamwork and perseverance from their new coach. Their struggles and hard work also improve their soccer skills. With some unexpected twists and turns in the story, you’ll wonder until the end if this bunch has the stuff to win.
As a retired teacher, who has taught many reluctant readers, I highly recommend this inspiring book. The fast paced action and gritty dialogue that flows through every chapter will captivate boys everywhere. Readers will find themselves rooting for these average boys who become super heroes by their sheer determination to win.
CREATE A SOCCER SHAPE POEM
Create the words for your poem below! Write whatever words come into your mind for each of the three words below. I'll give some examples.
Soccer (nouns): speed, game, friends, skill, Wild Bunch, ball,
Descriptive words (Adjectives): fun, fast, rugged, zoom,
Rhyming words: breed, fame, trends, kill, tall, call, sun, last, blast, boom,
CREATE YOUR POEM
Use some of the words above to create a shape poem in the soccer ball. Remember your words can flow anywhere in the shape, but make sure readers can follow your poem. You don't need to use all the words. Have fun!
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