Hello, friends! Our book today is Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True, written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Paul Hoppe, the real-life story of Neymar Jr., one of the biggest soccer stars in the world.
Growing up in Brazil, Neymar Jr. lived and breathed soccer; he spent all the time he could playing and practicing. His father had once played, but had to quit his pro career after an accident, but he passed on his love of soccer to his son and encouraged Neymar Jr..’s passion for it. At a local amateur match, a coach sees potential in young Neymar Jr. and offers to coach him, which earns him a spot in the local club. Eventually Neymar is even accepted to a prestigious trial with Real Madrid in Spain, but he finds that he misses his home, and especially his family. His father agrees to take him back to Brazil, much to the shock of Neymar’s friends and fans. But as it turns out, a talent like Neymar’s, combined with his drive and the support of his family, is destined to grow no matter where it’s planted.
This one was great! We don’t read a lot of sports books because JJ’s not into sports yet, but this is one of those sports stories that transcends the fandom. The main focus is Neymar Jr.’s childhood and rise as a soccer star, but it’s interspersed with lessons that are applicable to fans and non-fans alike, such as responsibly, the importance of hard work and family, and knowing when to trust your instincts, even if the world calls you crazy. The first-person narrative helps the reader connect with Neymar Jr., and the warm, energetic illustrations are cozy yet exciting. The length is great, and JJ enjoyed it. A great story for fans of soccer or simply lovers of a great story. Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)