September 30, 2013

The Kicks: Reading with Zoe

As Zoe gets older and starts reading independently, I'm afraid we're going to lose out on something special. She'll want to read on her own; sitting down with me for hours on end to work our way through chapter books may become a thing of the past.

I'll be sad when that happens. Right now, whenever we're tired or frustrated with each other, we can still find the energy/patience/stamina to read. We've read a lot of books in the past few months - Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, endless episodes of the Junie B. Jones series - and it's been great. 

And I know it'll work out okay, even when she dosen't want me to read to her. I remember my mother reading every Babysitter's Club I brought into the house, and I loved that she did. We had stuff to talk about. "Can you believe what Claudia did?" "Why can't Stacey eat candy?" "I wish MaryAnn would just grow a pair already!"

So it'll be okay for Zoe and me, too.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy every minute of reading together. While I do, I thought it might be fun to share our books with you from time to time. They maybe won't be about scary things and zombies and such, but then, you never know. It may be close to time to introduce her to Goosebumps! Until then...well, here are some books we've enjoyed.

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Zoe loves soccer. So do Charles and I. We're a soccer house. We have a pop-up goal for the backyard, and about a half-dozen soccer balls always at the ready. Zoe plays with the "big girls" this season - six and seven-year-olds, even though she's only five. This week, there was even a nine-year-old on one of the teams she played! And she loved it. 

So Zoe and I were VERY excited on a recent trip to the bookstore when we saw a book with a group of girls and a soccer ball on the cover. Bright colors, fun graphics, the cover was what caught our eye.

And then, when I looked closer and saw it was written by Alex Morgan of the United States Women's Soccer team...well, I was sold. Why not give it a shot? My soccer fiend kiddo would love it!

As it turned out, we had so much fun reading that as soon as we finished the first book, we bought the second one too!


The books are cute - middle grade fun about a group of seventh- and eighth-graders who try to bring their soccer team (called the Kicks) back from various points of reality-based disaster. Ever had a coach who doesn't...coach? The Kicks have, and they can tell you what to do about it. Ever had another team try to stir up trouble on yours? Yep, the Kicks have faced that too.

Lead by a pink-headband wearing, number 13-touting girl named Devin, who's almost certainly Alex Morgan's own alter-ego, there's nothing the Kicks can't do...so long as they work together. They always pull through in the end.

The Kicks are sweet. Lovable. My child hung on every word as we followed Devin and her team's shenanigans (there's even a Zoe on the team...a forward who's little and zippy and not unlike my own Zoe). She begged me to read just one more page each and every night...and day...and night again. 

She loved them, and, frankly, so did I. If you have a soccer star in the making, definitely give her these books. They're wholesome, they're fun, and seriously - read them aloud with your kid. You'll have as much fun as we did!

This is Zoe and her suggested "cover art" for Sabotage Season

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