Toward the Goal   -     By: Jeremy V. Jones
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This homeschool product specifically reflects a Christian worldview. Toward the Goal

Zondervan / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

At the age of eight Kaka already knew that he wanted to play soccer, but a severe childhood accident almost prevented him from reaching his dream. Through prayer and medical treatment he recovered and went on to pursue professional soccer. In Toward the Goal you'll hear his story and see how his faith in Christ has impacted his life.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0310720036
ISBN-13: 9780310720034
Availability: In Stock
Series: ZonderKidz Biography

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Publisher's Description

Kaká is arguably the greatest soccer player in the world, but he was once the smallest boy in his class. His life is an example of character, perseverance, commitment, and faith.

Author Bio

Jeremy V. Jones has played soccer throughout his life, including being goalkeeper for his high school team. Now he coaches his daughter’s team when he’s not writing about sports, outdoor adventure, music, and other fun topics. Jeremy is an award-winning writer and former editor of Breakaway magazine, whose recent books include Walking on Water. He absolutely adores his wife, daughter, and son—and most of the time thinks his two dogs are pretty cool too. The whole family loves to travel and explore the Colorado mountains near their home.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Jeremy V. Jones' Toward the Goal: The Kaká Story follows the life of famed Brazilian soccer star Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, known to the world as Kaká. The book details some of Kaká's more famous games, as well as explains the decisions he made along his journey from elementary school soccer to professional status. In addition, Jones also explores some of Kaká's role models, dilemmas of faith, and life outside of soccer, in order to better illustrate the whole of the star's life.

The book peers into Kaká's life from every imaginable angle, providing interviews with everyone from players on rival teams to childhood coaches, and even the occasional word from the man himself. It reads similar to most biographies, tracking the star's life, both on the field and off, but also provides a thorough background to the game, so relative newcomers to soccer will not be confused. Jones' own amateur experience in soccer, as well as his thorough knowledge of Christianity, place him in a perfect position to comment and relate to the personal and spiritual aspects of Kaka’s life.

Rather than attempt to compartmentalize Kaká's faith, the book boldly shows its influence in his life and makes no apologies for his open proclamation. As Kaká himself says, “More than anything else, I need Jesus in my life. All my blessings are a gift of grace from him.” One sees throughout the book, no matter how successful, wealthy, or famous he becomes, Kaká is never too proud to reflect the Scriptures: “Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!” (Psalm 105:3-4).

That being said, the book itself is nothing new or overly powerful. Whereas Kaká's spiritual life is mentioned from time to time, the book seems far more concerned with detailing who passed to whom, or the life story of other famous players. Seemingly random, long-winded facts and descriptions of games often make the account feel more like an almanac or a game record rather than a biography. Although there is nothing objectionable in the book, neither is there anything that ought to inspire a reading by anyone other than the most dedicated fans of world class soccer. In fact, a 30-second search online will turn up the same information, presented more concisely. So, unless you've got a 12-year-old soccer fanatic at home or a strong hatred of Google, you may want pass on this one. Toward the Goal: The Kaká Story shoots, but doesn't score all that well. – Ryan Dennison, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

Kaká is one of Brazil’s top soccer players. Currently playing for Real Madrid, he made his reputation with AC Milan. Unlike some players who cultivate a tough-guy image, Kaká is deeply and openly religious and supports numerous humanitarian causes. Jones covers all of this, along with Kaká’s years in the extensive Brazilian player-development system, while interspersed sidebars delve into related subjects, such as why Brazilian players are often known by just one name. More pictures and descriptions of game action would have been welcome, and the biography occasionally becomes bogged down by mundane facts and redundancy; for example, Kaká’s unprepossessing disposition is mentioned with almost distracting frequency. Still, this is a solid, well-rounded effort, and with this being a World Cup year, players such as Kaká will undoubtedly receive more American media attention, creating a high demand for this and other similar biographies. -- Kaká is one of Brazil’s top soccer players. Currently playing for Real Madrid, he made his reputation with AC Milan. Unlike some players who cultivate a tough-guy image, Kaká is deeply and openly religious and supports numerous humanitarian causes. Jones covers all of this, along with Kaká’s years in the extensive Brazilian player-development system, while interspersed sidebars delve into related subjects, such as why Brazilian players are often known by just one name. More pictures and descriptions of game action would have been welcome, and the biography occasionally becomes bogged down by mundane facts and redundancy; for example, Kaká’s unprepossessing disposition is mentioned with almost distracting frequency. Still, this is a solid, well-rounded effort, and with this being a World Cup year, players such as Kaká will undoubtedly receive more American media attention, creating a high demand for this and other similar biographies.

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