Posts tagged ‘sports and fear of failure’

TAKING FLIGHT

Wings to Fly

Written by Jarnell Stokes and Howard Flamm

Illustrated by Eunsoo Jeong

This book will go a long way to uplift the spirits of children who feel left out and unappreciated. Louisa is sad because she always seems to be the last one picked for the basketball team. She tells herself she is just as good as the other players. Her guardian angel, Jarnac, suddenly appears. He assures her that it does not matter whether you are chosen first or last. The most important thing is to have fun and treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Jarnac tells her stories of famous basketball players and assures her that having self-confidence and working hard is the key to success. When game time comes around, will Louisa be able to put his advice into practice?

This book is multicultural and richly illustrated. Readers will learn about teamwork, cooperation, and good sportsmanship. I would recommend it for elementary and middle-grade readers who enjoy sports, especially those who need motivation or a boost in their self-confidence.

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OUT OF REACH

Sean Wants to Be a Messi

Written by Tanya Preminger

Illustrated by Elettra Cudignotti

Sean is a second grader who is obsessed with soccer, especially one player named Leo Messi. He seems uninterested in finishing his homework or paying attention in school. He is excited to join soccer club to perfect his skill, but upon arrival, he refuses to play. His mother is upset with him. Both parents encourage Sean to overcome his fears of inadequacy and start developing his game skills. One day, a sixth grader bullies him and throws Sean’s soccer ball over the fence. One day a player is injured and an opportunity arises for Sean to assist. I am not sure I approve of Sean’s mother’s response, but Sean learns a valuable lesson about himself and the game.

Recommended as a beginning chapter book for new or reluctant readers. The book has a few colorful illustrations to keep the story flowing. Soccer fans will particularly enjoy reading it.

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