STARRED REVIEW
October 2014

Soccer in Soviet Russia

illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
“I’m a risk taker.” With that short sentence, readers are introduced to Arcady, a goal-scoring, wisecracking soccer star. However, very few people know just how good Arcady is at soccer. Arcady is a resident of an orphanage in Soviet Russia intended for children of enemies of the Soviet state. Instead of fame and fortune, Arcady plays for stolen rations and survival.
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“I’m a risk taker.” With that short sentence, readers are introduced to Arcady, a goal-scoring, wisecracking soccer star. However, very few people know just how good Arcady is at soccer. Arcady is a resident of an orphanage in Soviet Russia intended for children of enemies of the Soviet state. Instead of fame and fortune, Arcady plays for stolen rations and survival.

This all looks to change when a group of inspectors comes to the orphanage. Bribed by the director of the orphanage, Arcady participates in a series of soccer competitions against larger and stronger boys, with the intention of entertaining the inspectors. But a few days later, one of the inspectors returns to adopt Arcady. Although Arcady is freed from the confines of the orphanage, this does not mean his life will be easier.

Arcady’s Goal, the latest novel by Newbery Honor-winning author Eugene Yelchin, is a sparse book that carries great weight. A companion to Breaking Stalin’s Nose, it brings to light many of the struggles faced by children who did nothing wrong but were punished solely because of what their parents believed. Both haunting and laugh-out-loud funny, Arcady’s Goal will score big with readers.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Arcady’s Goal

Arcady’s Goal

illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Holt
ISBN 9780805098440

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