Sunday, May 22, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: The Wild Soccer Bunch: Diego the Tornado by Joachim Masannek

Release Date: April 15th, 2011
Publisher: Sole
Page Count: 166
Source: Complimentary copy provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Fabio, the son of a famous Brazilian soccer player, wants to join the Wild Soccer Bunch. But Fabio's father has other plans. He makes his son play for the Furies, one of the best youth club teams in the country. The Wild Soccer Bunch is devastated, but Diego has a different plan. He turns the Wild Soccer Bunch into a club team and challenges the Furies to a game! Can the wild Soccer Bunch survive the game? Can their friendship endure the test?
What Stephanie Thought: I was always that second grader who would never be found without a book in hand, so today, I definitely advocate youth and middle-grade reading.

The Wild Soccer Bunch is a children's series from Germany that's creating a sensation around the world, thanks to its universal message about friendship, determination, and teamwork. With endorsement from Landon Donovan, it's the type of series kids who love to read will enjoy, but more importantly, the type of series kids who don't love to read, will enjoy as well.

Life isn't fair in Diego the Tornado when Fabio, son of a world renown soccer celebrity, comes to town. The Wild Soccer Bunch desperately wants him on their welcoming team, but his father won't allow it. This is both troubling for the team itself, since Fabio on any other team would be a threat to theirs, and to each individual player, for the loss of Fabio as a friend.

Tested by the stresses of betrayal and heavy losses, the Wild Soccer Bunch attempts to stand strong, and come out in the end, as cooperative as they once were.

I enjoyed the message portrayed by Joachim Masannek for kids. Essentially, he tells a story, through the funny, relatable character of Diego, the team's left forward, of the importance of stepping up as a leader and of sportsmanship. Children of all elementary ages will learn the values of self-acceptance and honest competition in this wildly popular and entertaining series. As a soccer lover myself, I really loved reading about the dilemmas of the sport. It's true that winning isn't everything when it comes to soccer; kids will understand that the rules of the game are clearly defined by the unity of the team itself, not the level of success.

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥