A middle school soccer whiz’s determination to keep things from changing is tested when his father’s ALS symptoms worsen in this touching story about growing up and facing loss, perfect for fans of Shouting at the Rain.
Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni is determined to channel his hero, soccer superstar Lionel Messi, and become captain of his soccer team and master of his eighth grade universe…especially since his home universe is spiraling out of orbit. Off the field, Golden’s dad, once a pro soccer player himself, is now battling ALS, a disease that attacks his muscles, leaving him less and less physically able to control his body every day. And while Mom says there’s no cure, Golden is convinced that his dad can beat this, just like any opponent, they just have to try.
Golden knows that if you want to perfect a skill you have to put ten thousand tries in, so he’s convinced if he can put that much effort in, on and off the field, he can stop everything from changing. But when his dad continues to decline and his constant pushing starts to alienate his friends and team, Golden is forced to confront the idea that being master of your universe might not mean being in control of everything. What if it means letting go of the things you can’t control so you can do the most good for the things you can?
Amy Makechnie is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel, The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair. Her second novel, Ten Thousand Tries was written for all the kids, the ones who have ever had the audacity to try and try and try again. Stay in touch with Amy by subscribing to her newsletter at AmyMakechnie.com.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 13, 2021)
* "A heart-tugging and uplifting story about never giving up—on the soccer field, on loved ones, and on life."
– Kirkus Reviews - starred review, June 2021
* "A touching tale about family, love, and grief....Whether or not they are a fan of soccer, this title is sure to make readers laugh and cry. An excellent read-alike for Gary D. Schmidt's Pay Attention, Carter Jones, 2019."
– Booklist - starred review, June 1, 2021
"A warm-hearted sports story about a kid learning to accept the painful limitations and also unexpected glories of passionate determination."
– Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July 2021
* "Makechnie (The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair) breathes life into both soccer scenes and contemporary struggles in this emotional tour de force centering family, love, grief, and death."