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Soccer Dreams by Shawn Pryor

My daughter is a young reader, and she is recently making the jump from picture books to easy chapter books. Watching this shift in her reading has been exhilarating. I love watching her excitement as she reads "grown-up" books and falls in love with her newfound journey into all things chapter books.

This shift in my daughter’s reading has me on high-alert for great early chapter books. I want to find stories for readers, like my daughter, who are making the shift into chapter books. Of course, there will always be those classics like Junie B. Jones and Flat Stanley. But young readers need new characters to love, and I am on a mission to find them!

The challenge with early chapter books is they need to be engaging yet easily decodable. Readers who are new into reading chapter books still need to have access to their text decoding as they face new and more difficult words. Simple plot lines that hold kids' attention are also imperative for new chapter book readers. Also, when I look for beginning chapter books, I still look for ones that have interesting illustrations spread out in the text to help these young readers comprehend as they are reading.

Through my journey, I have had to opportunity to come across Soccer Dreams by Shawn Pryor. Soccer Dreams is an example of an early chapter book that absolutely fits the qualities I am looking for when I place accessible chapter books in the hands of young readers like my daughter.

In the text, Soccer Dreams, you meet a young girl. Her name is Keisha. Keisha dreams of becoming a big soccer star. To her, the ultimate accomplishment would be if she becomes a top soccer striker, just like her grandfather used to be.

But Keisha has a huge problem! She can’t seem to not use her hands during soccer.

Keisha is panicked that her bad habit of using her hands during soccer is going to ruin any chance she had to become the soccer star that she has always dreamed about becoming.

Thankfully, her coach comes up with a brilliant plan for Keisha. Maybe instead of being a striker, Keisha may be a better fit to be a goalie?

Soccer Dreams is an early chapter book that boys and girls alike will enjoy. The utilization of soccer is a huge win for any sport loving reader.

Soccer Dreams is engaging, and it is a great text for those that are just transitioning into the wonderful world of chapter books!

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