On Saturday I attended an author reading/event at Secret Garden Books in Ballard, featuring my friend Clare Hodgson Meeker reading from her book Soccer Dreams, and author/illustrator Jesse Joshua Watson with his picture book, Hope for Haiti.
Both books center around the game of soccer, and bring out inspiring, world-broadening themes that children can relate to on emotional, imaginative and physical levels.
Like Soccer Dreams, Hope for Haiti uses the internationally popular game of soccer as a vehicle to express hope and build bridges between children of incredibly different backgrounds, but who can relate experientially, as children so readily do when given the opportunity, through play.
|Author Clare Hodgson Meeker|
When his family moves to Seattle, Todo gets recruited onto a neighborhood soccer team, and begins to learn about much more than soccer as he transitions to his new culture and home, facing universal challenges of childhood and growing up.
Todo is based on the real life story of a Kenyan boy, Tolosa, an avid soccer player and now high school student in Seattle. The parallel story in Soccer Dreams consists of profiles, photos, and quotes from Seattle Sounders players, which complement the narrative of Todo's journey. The result is a unique combination of fan-book, picture book, and inspirational resource for kids, parents, and any sports-minded reader.
Even I, who am no more a sports fan than a nuclear scientist, am drawn into the story and its message, and at events like Saturday's reading and book signing (which also featured opportunities to make soccer balls out of plastic bags and string) I was swept up in the soccer fever and excitement filling the bookstore.
|Jesse Joshua Watson and colleague in Haiti|
Both Jesse's and Clare's book are great for kids, for soccer lovers, as gifts or to share in families and among friends. Support your local bookstores, and buy a copy!
Kingdom of Hope, through which Steve is helping low income children and youth discover the life-changing possibilities of cooperation, teamwork, diligence, and fun through the great game of soccer.
All these creative efforts to use sports, writing, and imagination to inspire children as readers, team players, and world citizens, are worth lending our support!