Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Like Soccer

They cheer for me by the number on my uniform, not knowing my name.  Every girl has someone there but me.

"Nothing makes me happy like soccer-" begins the narrator, a young urban girl first appearing like so many other picture book characters. "But nothing makes me sad like soccer, too," she soon adds. The unraveling of a character whose story is not new or unlike someone we know, yet absent from most picture books read to kids, exposes socioeconomic tension and conflict in an approachable way. Sierra, who lives with her auntie in an isolated neighborhood, outside the city where the buses don't run, wishes her auntie could come watch her play soccer. Because game days are the busiest days at the restaurant where auntie is a waitress, she can't ever attend soccer games.

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