The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field

Millbrook. Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781541579156.
Gr 2-5–In the Thai fishing village of Koh Panyee, Prasit and his friends can play their favorite game only twice a month. They must rely on the phases of the moon to go out to a sandbar when the tides are in their favor. But their irrepressible passion for football (soccer) keeps them from giving up, especially when they huddle around the single island television to watch an underdog team win the World Cup. Ignoring naysayers and fueled with enthusiasm and ingenuity, the boys come up with a plan. Their floating field created with repurposed scrap materials enables them to begin a daily practice regimen, form the Panyee Football Club, qualify to compete in a tournament on the mainland, and earn the admiration of their whole village. Vibrant artwork in rich, concentrated color conveys energy and joy. References to local foods and adult women wearing hijabs depict the regional culture and predominant faith. A note by the real Prasit Hemmin enhances the authenticity of this illustrated account of his own story. Additional back matter includes a map, photos, and bilingual chart with soccer terminology.
VERDICT This is a story that presents kids as true problem solvers. Its message will spark conversations at home and in the classroom, and its makerspace connection makes it an excellent STEM resource.

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