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The Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 1, Kevin the Star Strike



Last updated Thursday, November 8, 2012

Author: Joachim Masannek
Illustrator: Jan Birck Birck
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 0984425705
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2012

Synopsis: When the last of the snow has finally melted, soccer season starts! Kevin the Star Striker and The Wild Bunch rush to their field. They have found that Mickey the bulldozer and his gang, the Unbeatables, have taken over. Kevin and his friends challenge the Unbeatables to the biggest game of their lives. Can the Wild Bunch defeat the Unbeatables, or lose their field of dreams forever? Can they do what no team has done before?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you play any team sports? Which ones?
•  Do you ever imagine you are a famous athlete or person?
•  If so, who? What do you imagine yourself doing?

Vocabulary:
•  Verdict- the final decision a judge makes when sentencing someone
•  Sheepishly- embarrassed or bashful, usually after doing something wrong or foolish.
•  Despair- loss of hope, hopelessness
•  Plodding- to walk heavily or move laboriously
•  Sullen- showing irritation by being silent or reserved.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think they are the best soccer team in the world? Do you think Kevin exaggerates? Do you ever exaggerate, or do you know someone else who does?
•  Kevin describes his teammates very well. How would you describe some of your teammates or friends?
•  Have you ever been someplace where the weather was so bad you felt trapped in your house?
•  Have you ever played sports inside your house? What happened? Did you get in trouble?
•  What do you look forward to doing during your next break from school?

Craft ideas:
•  Make finger soccer puppets from templates. Color and cut out these fun pictures and play a round of soccer, using any small round object as a ball (a piece of paper, for example).
•  Make a soccer buddy! Color in and then cut and glue the template to make your own soccer buddy!
•  Make a "dangling" soccer player using the template! Just color it in, cut it out, and put it together with some yarn.

Special activities:
•  This is College Spirit Day at Reading to Kids. Make a college spirit flag or megaphone from construction paper. Decorate the flags or megaphone with college letters or mascots.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!