Why, it's the World Cup, of course! Every four years hundreds of thousands of excited fans gather in massive stadiums to cheer for their teams while millions more watch on TV. In fact, in some places around the world, factories will shut down during the World Cup because the owners know that no one will show up! And, in honor of this world-wide phenomenon, the Iron Guy has got some great soccer books to tell you about.
The first is What Is the World Cup? by Bonnie Bader. Now all guys know how great these What Is... and Who Is... are and this one is no exception. Like all of those books, this one is interesting, informative and chock-full of great stories. You'll learn all sort of fascinating things like:
- The first FIFA tournament was scheduled for 1906--why didn't it happen?
- What did Mussolini and Hitler have to do with the World Cup?
- What made Pele want to quit the World Cup?
- Did the goal in the 1966 World Cup Final game between England and Germany count?
- How do high-speed cameras and wristwatches help out the game now?
This book also has good information at the end, like the winners and host countries of the World Cup, side-by-side timelines of the World Cup and world history and a good bibliography. I sure learned a lot from this book and enjoyed reading it. I bet you will too!
The next two were also interesting and informative, especially for guys like me who didn't know much about soccer. They are What Does a Defender Do? and What Does a Midfielder Do? by Paul Challen. These are both part of the Soccer Smarts series which include What Does a Forward Do? and What Does a Goalkeeper Do? Once again, it was fun to learn what midfielders and defenders do and why they're important to a game and other things like:
- What's a diamond formation and a flat-four formation?
- Who ran seven and half miles in one game?
- What is a wingback?
- Why is soccer called "the beautiful game?"
These books are short (only 32 pages) but full of good information, interesting sidebars, helpful info at the back plus lots of photos--and not only of famous soccer players but also kids learning and playing, just like some of you!
The last two books I'll mention are Soccer's Biggest Moments and Soccer Teams From Around the World by Megan Cooley Peterson. (part of the Bolt series from World Book) They're good for our younger reader guys (maybe as early as second grade) because they are short, have only a few words on a page and there are lots of charts and pictures. If you've got younger guys who have just learned to read or are learning to read or think they don't like to read, hand them a few of the books from this series. They will ask for more!
Now I've never been a big soccer fan but I watched the England/Croatia game a couple of days ago and, after reading these books, really enjoyed it! So go and check these out, especially now that the World Cup is on---well, actually, the final game is in three days. Well, cheer for whichever team you like, then cheer for your local team when it's over and be sure to get to your local libreary and check these out!
Go Croatia! Go France! Go boys and books!
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