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



by
Scott Riley
illustrated by
Nguyen Quang ,Kim Lien

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Lerner
Imprint
Millbrook Press
ISBN
9781541579156
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$21.06   $17.55
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After watching the World Cup on television, a group of Thai boys is inspired to form their own team. But on the island of Koh Panyee, in a village built on stilts, there is no open space. The boys can play only twice a month on a sandbar when the tide is low enough. Everything changes when the teens join together to build their very own floating soccer field.

This inspiring true story by debut author Scott Riley is gorgeously illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien. Perfect for fans of stories about sports, beating seemingly impossible odds, and places and cultures not often shown in picture books.Author’s note, with map and photographs. Note from Prasit. Thai words and pronunciation notes. Bibliography. Suggestions for further reading. Full-color illustrations were created with fineliner pen and Photoshop.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

9 1/2" x 11"

Dewey

796.334

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

680L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jun 2021

Book Genres

Picture Book

Topics

Soccer. Thailand. Islands. Fishing villages. Soccer fields. Teamwork. Sports and recreation. Competitions.

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

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.–Gloria Koster, formerly at West Sch., New Canaan, CT

Horn Book

Young Prasit Hemmin and his friends loved soccer. But because their small island home of Koh Panyee, off the coast in Thailand, had so little land (the homes were built on stilts over the ocean), there was no room for even a small field. The boys played on sandbars at low tide, but as soon as the tide came in, the game was over. Set in 1986, this inspiring true story of determination and teamwork tells of Parsit and his friends’ wild plan to use scrap lumber to build a floating soccer field. Not only did the young people succeed, but practicing on this small, unsteady, nail-and-splinter-filled field floating off the docks helped build the players’ quickness and footwork. They entered a local tournament—and, playing their own way, came in third. In the -colorful pen and digital illustrations, soccer scenes are especially lively and expressive, filled with happy smiles and strong kicks. An appended note tells more about the real-life players and about the Panyee Football Club, which is still in existence. A bibliography, further reading, “Word You Might Hear on the Floating Field” in English and Thai (with a pronunciation guide), and a first-person “Prasit’s Perspective” section are appended. A splendid nonfiction picture book to pair with Baptiste Paul’s fictional The Field (rev. 5/18). ERIC CARPENTER

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

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.–Gloria Koster, formerly at West Sch., New Canaan, CT

Horn Book

Young Prasit Hemmin and his friends loved soccer. But because their small island home of Koh Panyee, off the coast in Thailand, had so little land (the homes were built on stilts over the ocean), there was no room for even a small field. The boys played on sandbars at low tide, but as soon as the tide came in, the game was over. Set in 1986, this inspiring true story of determination and teamwork tells of Parsit and his friends’ wild plan to use scrap lumber to build a floating soccer field. Not only did the young people succeed, but practicing on this small, unsteady, nail-and-splinter-filled field floating off the docks helped build the players’ quickness and footwork. They entered a local tournament—and, playing their own way, came in third. In the -colorful pen and digital illustrations, soccer scenes are especially lively and expressive, filled with happy smiles and strong kicks. An appended note tells more about the real-life players and about the Panyee Football Club, which is still in existence. A bibliography, further reading, “Word You Might Hear on the Floating Field” in English and Thai (with a pronunciation guide), and a first-person “Prasit’s Perspective” section are appended. A splendid nonfiction picture book to pair with Baptiste Paul’s fictional The Field (rev. 5/18). ERIC CARPENTER

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