Soccer Dreams by Leah Lauber
Review by Molly
Told in flowing narrative richly illustrated with over 200 photographs shot mostly by the author’s father as Lauber followed the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup team playing here in the US and abroad Soccer Dreams is an exhilarating work. Leah Lauber has produced an eminently clear, entertaining publication sure to be enjoyed by the target audience of young, and old soccer enthusiasts. Soccer Dreams includes detailed descriptions of the many accomplishments, defeats and struggles experienced in 1999 by a collection of women as they learn to work together to become a World Cup team.
Soccer lovers will delight in the detailed descriptions of games, her own and those of the 1999 team offered by young writer Lauber. As she chronicles her own setbacks and obstacles Lauber was steadfast in her determination to play well and to and learn everything she could about the World Cup Team. First as a seven year player, later as a Junior Reporter for the St. Petersburg FL Times, as a fan and finally when she meets the women who are her heroes Lauber’s enthusiasm is infectious. Reading of the time and effort writer Lauber put into her favorite sport in addition to her work as a junior reporter for the St Petersburg Times is indicative of a dedication to both the sport and to writing not found in many much older than she. The assistance Lauber received from the Women’s Team and its press agents is impressive. Lauber was aided in receiving press passes. Because of her age Lauber’s father was allowed to accompany her while attending practice sessions and interviews with the players.
Copies of her feature news articles, comments from individual members of the Women’s Team, all the photographs all lend a wonderful interest producing factor for the reader. The notion that if you work hard you will achieve you dream is a wonderful lesson for young readers to brush up against.
Soccer Dreams is an exciting read, the energy, crowds, pace and thrill of the sport all leap from the pages of this work offered by soccer enthusiast Lauber. Lauber began playing soccer at seven, is now in high school and continues playing. Her youthful enthusiasm shines through her writing. Collecting autographs from both the American Team and the one from Norway is told in typically excited youthful prose.
A sure winner for the target audience of middle grade to older readers Soccer Dreams has a place on shelves of home and school libraries. The book will be reached for often for pleasure reading.
Soccer Dreams is a read-to book for the younger set. Because of the profusion of brightly colored photos even young children ages 4 and up will enjoy looking through the book by themselves, or will delight in having the book read to them by an older sibling, parent or school student mentor. Soccer Dreams is a tribute to the spunk and dedication of a young woman who will no doubt do well in whatever her chosen future field may be.