Coming in August – Two Children’s Books from Tony and Lauren Dungy

When Maria’s family moves to a new town, her parents sign her up for the summer soccer team to help her meet new friends. But Maria has never tried soccer before. She would rather be back on her old swim team. Maria is afraid she will be the worst player and no one will like her.

Coach Tony and Coach Lauren remind Maria everything is new at first. Maria will have to give soccer a try to see if she likes it. What have you wanted to try but were afraid to? Like Maria, you can have the courage to try something new, because who knows? That new thing you try might just become your next favorite thing!

Pre-order here!



Austin loves playing flag football for the Trentwood Tigers. There is only one problem. His team has lost six games in a row, and he doesn’t like losing. At his next game, Austin’s teammate has a plan to trick the other team. It works, but Austin knows his team cheated to win.

Coach Tony and Coach Lauren remind Austin the most important thing about football isn’t winning—it’s playing fair. When his team takes the field for their next game, will Austin choose to cheat again, or will he stand up for what’s right? What would you do if you were in Austin’s shoes?

Coming in August. Pre-order here!

Tony Dungy is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon. He enjoyed a successful career in the National Football League, winning Super Bowls as a player and as a coach. Tony is involved in numerous charities, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and All Pro Dad. He and his wife, Lauren, are the parents of ten children. They are active in the foster parenting community, as both parents and advocates.

Lauren Dungy is the bestselling author of You Can Be a Friend and Uncommon Marriage, a frequently sought-after speaker, and an early childhood educational specialist. She is vice president of the Dungy Family Foundation, an organization committed to strengthening families and helping individuals acquire needed life skills. In addition to being a foster parent with Tony, she works with several agencies in the Tampa Bay area to help raise awareness for the foster care system.

Visit the authors online at

Star of the Team by Beverly Stowe McClure

teamA girl.

A dream.

An accident.

A dream shattered.

Eleven-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.

Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?




Barnes and Noble:

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.

For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Soccer Dreams by Clare Hodgson Meeker

soccer-dreams-book-coverSoccer Dreams by Clare Hodgson Meeker is the perfect blend of entertainment and education.

Todo moves from Kenya, Africa to Seattle, Washington where his soccer skills catch the eye of Coach Dan who invites him to join his team. With tons of spirit, Todo helps Coach Dan build a winning team that works together.

I don’t know how the Lil’ Princess discovered soccer, but she did. She continues to work hard to develop her skills, spending a week at a British soccer camp visiting our area over the summer, and practicing at home whenever she can. It’s been a good season for her so far. This is why I requested to review Soccer Dreams. It ended up being a great source of inspiration for her.

This book blends the fictional story of Todo moving from Africa to America and getting a chance to play on a soccer team with profiles of the current MLS Seattle Sounders FC, in addition to strategy and teamwork tips. It’s a wonderful book. Numerous color photographs are included, along with black and white drawings for the fictional portion of the story. Some Sounders share their favorite warm-ups, the coach talks about developing players’ strengths, and the goalkeeper shares what goalies think about and offers his advice.

I’m sure Soccer Dreams will hold a special place in the Lil’ Princess’ bookshelf.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hardcover: 48 pages
Ages 7 to 12
Publisher: Creating One, LLC; 1st edition (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615432360
ISBN-13: 978-0615432366
Available in digital format

I received a copy of this book from the author’s publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

Interview with Clare Hodgson Meeker, Author of Soccer Dreams


Clare Hodgson Meeker is an award-winning author of 10 published books and over 20 magazine stories for children. She teaches writing and makes author appearances in schools and at conferences around the country.

Thank you for joining us today, (your name). Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in New York and graduated with a B.A in Music from Boston University. After receiving a law degree from Hofstra University, my husband and I moved to Seattle, Washington where we currently live. I left the practice of law to raise two children and begin a second career writing books for children. I am also a founding member of The Righteous Mothers, a female vocal group that has performed nationally and internationally for many years. You can hear our music at our website,

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I was lucky to have wonderful teachers in grade school who encouraged me to write. In third grade, I wrote a play called Murder By Death that my classmates and I performed. It was a heady experience seeing your words acted out, particularly when one of my classmates forgot to break his fall from a ladder and landed face first on the floor. My fifth grade teacher encouraged me to send a story I had written and illustrated to a publisher in New York. I received a kind rejection saying “Please come back to us when you are older,” and have been writing ever since.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I realized when I began reading picture books to my own children how much they enjoyed the playfulness of words and the power of a good story to communicate ideas and help them learn about the world around them. I wanted to write stories about the people, places and subjects that I found fascinating and share what I learned with kids.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

Children, particularly younger audiences, enjoy plots that are action-oriented with less emphasis on description. Pacing is very important. If it takes too long to get to the problem, you will lose a young reader’s attention. Also, when you are writing picture book text, you have to leave room for the illustrator to tell the story. That is why description should be kept to a minimum so that the pictures can add their own dimension to the story.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

To me, the best picture books are like poetry. I enjoy the challenge of making every word count. Even my most recent book, Soccer Dreams: Playing the Seattle Sounders FC Way, is a free verse chapter book for ages 7-12 years old. I was inspired to write in this format by a sports story I read called “Smile Like Jeter “ by Maria Testa. I loved the way she crafted scenes that had a minimum number of words, but still conveyed strong action and emotion. The shorter word count is particularly attractive to boys who are reluctant readers and are looking for books about sports.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Soccer Dreams combines a fictional story about a boy from Kenya who moves to Seattle and helps build a winning soccer team with inspiring teamwork tips and quotes from Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC coach and players. 10-year old Todo is looking to make new friends. He is thrilled to meet a group of kids who share his love of soccer, but he struggles with an overconfident striker named Peter who sees Todo as an unwelcome competitor. His schoolmate Anna, a skilled defender on a girls soccer team, knows first-hand that Peter is a ball hog. Together, she and Todo make a plan to bring their two teams together. But Todo’s coach has his own strategy for building teamwork that involves his favorite team, the Seattle Sounders FC. Mixing fiction with actual photographs and personal stories of the Seattle Sounders coach and players, this book is licensed by Major League Soccer and is endorsed by the Sounders team.

What inspired you to write it?

I was fascinated by the fact that like my main character Todo, the Sounders players came from all over the world and spoke different languages, but still managed to work together as a team and win the U.S Open Cup championship in their first year. The beauty of soccer is that you don’t need expensive equipment to play the sport. All you need is a ball. As Steve Zakuani, one of the Sounders players says, “Once you get out the field, everyone knows what to do.” It’s a common language that you speak with your feet.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The enhanced ebook with bonus audio interviews of the current Sounders FC captain and goalkeeper is available on all digital platforms including the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and Apple iPad.

You can also purchase the hardcover book from your local independent bookstore (PartnersWest is the distributor) as well as online at, the SoundersFCPro and at

What is up next for you?

I have an article about the Hawaiian Monk Seal coming out in October in The National Wildlife Federation’s “Ranger Rick” Magazine. I am also preparing a book proposal about the Hawaiian Monk Seal and the efforts by government scientists and the local Hawaiian community to save this critically endangered species from extinction.

Do you have anything else to add?

I am launching a new In-School Field Trip author presentation around my Soccer Dreams book called “How to Build Teamwork on and Off the Field.” Set in an assembly or classroom format, I talk about the teamwork tips that are practiced in the major league soccer world and how they can be applied to group dynamics in the classroom. Students then break up into groups and practice using these tips, including setting goals, identifying each other’s strengths and working together to accomplish each team’s goals. The idea of the in-school field trip is to provide the excitement and the hands – on learning of an out-of-school field trip at a much more reasonable cost. If you need more information, visit my website at You can contact me directly through the site.

Celebrate Black History Month with a Good Book

thestoryofrubybridgesCelebrate the 50th anniversary of the first African American child to integrate a New Orleans school with this paperback reissue!

The year is 1960, and six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family have recently moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in search of a better life. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at William Frantz Elementary, an all-white school, Ruby must face angry mobs of parents who refuse to send their children to school with her. Told with Robert Coles’ powerful narrative and dramatically illustrated by George Ford, Ruby’s story of courage, faith, and hope is now available in this special 50th anniversary edition with an updated afterword!

  • Reading level: Ages 4 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Rep Anv Sp edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439472261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439472265

What do all these people have in common: the first man to die in the American Revolution, a onetime chief of the Crow Nation, the inventors of peanut butter
and the portable X-ray machine, and the first person to make a wooden clock in this country? They were all great African Americans. For parents and teachers
interested in fostering cultural awareness among children of all races, this book includes more than 70 hands-on activities, songs, and games that teach kidsAA
about the people, experiences, and events that shaped African American history. This expanded edition contains new material throughout, including additional information and biographies. Children will have fun designing an African mask, making a medallion like those worn by early abolitionists, playing the rhyming game “Juba,” inventing Brer Rabbit riddles, and creating a unity cup for Kwanzaa. Along the way they will learn about inspiring African American artists, inventors, and heroes like Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker, Rosa Parks, Langston Hughes, and Louis Armstrong, to name a few.

  • Reading level: Ages 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 2nd edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556526539
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556526534


Discover why young people all over
the country are reading the Black Stars biographies of African American heroes.
Here is what you want to know about the lives of brave black men and women
during the Civil Rights Movement:

  • Reading level: Ages 11 and up
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047122068X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471220688

Coretta Scott King winner Andrea Davis Pinkney brings her talents to a brand-new Dear America diary about the Civil Rights Movement.Dear-America-With-the-Might-of-Angels-198x282

In the fall of 1955, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson’s life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She’s the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is familiar to face great uncertainty in the school year ahead.

However, not everyone supports integration and much of the town is outraged at the decision. Dawnie must endure the harsh realities of racism firsthand, while continuing to work hard to get a good education and prove she deserves the opportunity. But the backlash against Dawnie’s attendance of an all-white school is more than she’s prepared for. When her father loses his job as a result, and her little brother is constantly bullied, Dawnie has to wonder if it’s worth it. In time, Dawnie learns that the true meaning of justice comes from remaining faithful to the integrity within oneself.

  • Reading level: Ages 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545297052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545297059


01-02 Golden Sower Award Masterlist (YA Cat.) and 00 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Book Award (Intermed. Cat.)

Like every other kid in his class, Joe Stoshack has to write a report on an African American who’s made an important contribution to society. Unlike every other kid in his class, Joe has a special talent: with the help of old baseball cards, he can travel through time. So for his report, Joe decides to go back to meet one of the greatest baseball players ever, Jackie Robinson, to find out what it was like to be the man who broke baseball’s color barrier. Joe plans on writing a prize-winning report. But he doesn’t plan on a trip that will for a short time change the color of his skin–and forever change his view of history and his definition of courage.

  • Reading level: Ages 8 and up
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (February 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380800845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380800841