An unforgettable tale of persistence and problem-solving, based on the amazing true story of a Thai soccer team who made their own place to play.
In Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay, atop a network of stilts, floats the village of Koh Panyee—where a group of boys loved soccer but had nowhere to practice. Where could they find space to dribble, juggle, shoot, and score? The boys looked out at the water and started gathering tools. Even while their neighbors laughed, they sawed wood, hammered nails, and tied barrels together. The team worked for weeks to build Koh Panyee’s first floating field—a place to practice, and a place to transform their community...
With engaging soccer scenes and atmospheric images of southern Thailand, this inspiring book follows a group of boys who became a team long before they had jerseys or even a field. Plank by plank, they built their dream.
National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council Best STEM Books Award List (2024)
Missouri Association of School Librarians Dogwood Readers Award in Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Finalist (2023-2024)
Darshana Khiani is a computer engineer, children's book author, and South Asian kidlit advocate based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Her books include How to Wear a Sari (Versify) and I'm an American (Viking). Visit Darshana's website at darshanakhiani.com and follow her on Twitter @darshanakhiani.
Dow Phumiruk is the award-winning illustrator of over a dozen books for young readers, including One Girl (Abrams), Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team (HarperCollins), and Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 (Henry Holt). She lives in Colorado, where she also works as a general pediatrician. Follow Dow on Instagram @dowphumiruk.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books “This nonfiction pick reads like a sports underdog story and will empower young readers to overcome challenges and take a leap of faith in their dreams with teamwork and perseverance.”
Kirkus Reviews “A stirring story of perseverance.”
Booklist “A great read-alike for Julie Abery and Chris Sasaki's Sakamoto's Swim Club (2021).”
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