Ten Thousand Tries

Amy Makechnie. Atheneum, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8229-6
Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni, the “smallest boy in the eighth grade. BY FAR,” dreams of emulating his hero, Argentine soccer champion Lionel Messi, and captaining Mudbury Middle School’s team despite his short stature. Golden’s world revolves around soccer, as it does for his parents, former soccer stars turned Mudbury K–8 coed team coaches: his mother, who is currently coaching his team, and his father, who is slowly dying from ALS after getting diagnosed a year and a half ago. Golden, cued as white, believes if he achieves 10,000 hours of training à la Gladwell, he’ll become a soccer master. But, deeper, he believes—and bargains with God—that if he perseveres, his father’s illness will not worsen. As plotlines parallel, Golden faces stinging triumphs and devastating setbacks in his quest to lead his team to the championships, just as he navigates his relationships with his father and best friends, Chinese American golden boy Benny Ho, and white neighbor Lucy Littlehouse, who might be moving to Maine. Makechnie (The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair) breathes life into both soccer scenes and contemporary struggles in this emotional tour de force centering family, love, grief, and death. Ages 8–12. (July)
Reviewed on : 07/21/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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