Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Team and Tournament Fugee

McLean, Dirk. Team Fugee
January 1st 2018 by Lorimer
E ARC from

Ozzie and his sister Rebecca managed to escape the fate that their parents met in Nigeria and have made it to Canada after a long time spent in an orphanage. They have been adopted by a Trinidadian couple, and are settling into their new environment. Ozzie loves to play soccer at school, but when his group is forced off the field by a group of mainly Syrian soccer players, tempers flare, and the school coach arranges for the two teams to play an exhibition game to work out their differences. Ozzie is in charge of the team, and must get the players to work together. He worries, however, because his mother is offered a position at a hospital several hours away, and he and Rebecca don't want to be uprooted again. If the soccer tournament is a success, there is a chance that the school will support soccer teams. Can Ozzie overcome his problems with Victor, the leader of the Syrian team, so that the exhibition match will impress the powers that be?
Strengths: Lorimer does a very nice job at bringing in characters from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and incorporating them into high interest, low level books that involve sports. They definitely fill a much needed niche, and included just enough details about other cultures to intrigue readers while using a lot of sports descriptions so that readers who pick up the books for that reason are satisfied.
Weaknesses: The author is from Trinidad, but I think the research into the background of Ozzie and his sister is very well done. There are a lot of references to Canadian life that may confuse some of my readers; I would love to see Scholastic turn its hand to a similar line of titles set in the US!
What I really think: This will be a popular series with my struggling readers who enjoy sports stories.

McLean, Dirk. Tournament Fugee
January 1st 2018 by Lorimer
E ARC from

Victor, who leads the Syrian team in Team Fugee, has an opportunity to play on a Syrian refugee team in a "Thank you, Canada" tournament.  This team is much more challenging than his school one, and he has to learn to work together with other refugees who might not share his exact background. Victor is also struggling with his guilt over losing his grandfather when the family escaped Syria, and worries about his younger brother, who is battling pneumonia. Both concerns effect his ability to concentrate on the field. Will Victor be able to overcome his past and bring his team to victory?
Strengths: Victor's experience in leaving Syria will be interesting to students who have read Gratz' Refugee or Senzai's Escape from Aleppo, and are written about in a way that can be understood by students whose reading skills might not be strong enough for either of those titles.
Weaknesses: Again, there are a lot of details particular to Canada in this title. While I find that interesting, some of my students are new to the US and struggle enough with details about life here. They might be a little confused.
What I really think: I wish I had know that this came after Golden Goal and Golden Game. I was hoping, while reading both of these books, that there would have been more information about how Ozzie and Victor ended up in Canada, and I'll have to hunt down these titles to see if they answer the questions I have!

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. Sports books for struggling readers? Sounds like right up the BR alley! Gotta see if our system has them or will order them. (our system has ordered books on your recommendations)