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  • Finding the Game

    Finding the Game by Gwendolyn Oxenham
    288 pages
    Reviewed by THE BOOK DEALER

    Finding the Right Game is a truly inspirational account of a young lady who follows her dreams to experience and document pickup soccer around the globe. A resident from my own community of Gulf Breeze, Florida, Oxenham writes an enthralling account of her brave adventure of conquering her fear of leaving the safe confines of her comfortable life in order to share this narrative. She, along with her boyfriend and two friends, experience pick-up soccer in 25 countries. Their stories demonstrate to the reader reader how soccer connects people all around the world.

    The author tells her story with grit and humor, making this a non-fiction book that holds strong appeal for young adults and adults alike. Of course, athletes would enjoy Oxenham’s book, but all young adults would be drawn to Gwendolyn’s countless examples of perseverance. Teens can relate to Oxenham’s experiences of being bullied, falling in love for the first time, and learning through both success and failure. The analogy of soccer and life is apparent, and the author brilliantly leaves the reader thinking about important topics long after the book is finished.


    Notes to Teachers: Due to the nature of the book, it would best serve high school students (and adults). Finding the Right Game is an excellent choice for teens who enjoy sports and want to learn more about pickup soccer through the eyes of an inspirational young woman. Students will easily relate to Gwendolyn Oxenham, as she tells this story with humor and excitement. Although not an athlete, the lessons I learned from the book about the unifying sport of soccer and important lessons of life are powerful! Students will be inspired by her strong will and determination to accurately write about her passion of soccer and can be used to demonstrate how a young girl can succeed in writing a beautiful, inspirational story.  What I like best is her writing style is her ability to have her story unfold so as to encourage others to follow their dreams!
    Suggestions for Possible Concepts:  Struggles and Perseverance would be a good fit for this narrative, but so would Destiny, Community, Sports, and Diversity.
    This book review was authored by Susan Densmore-James. She is Assistant Professor at the University of West Florida and received a Ph.D. for Florida State University. She is the lead blogger here at the Book Dealer and lives for finding the right book for very child.

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