In some countries, soccer is a holy grail sport. In the US, I think it’s gaining more popularity, although nowhere near Europe and Africa levels. For the kids who can’t get enough of soccer, this list of soccer books for kids will be a joy to read! I’ve included picture books, chapter books, middle grade books, and young adult titles featuring kids who live and breathe the game of soccer.
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28 Soccer Books for Kids Ages 6 and Up
Here are 28 great soccer books for kids:
Picture Books About Soccer
Hand these soccer picture books to preschoolers and kindergartners obsessed with scoring goals at soccer practice.
Froggy Plays Soccer
Published: March 19, 2001
It’s the day of the big game, and Froggy is ready. His soccer team is playing the Wild Things for the City Cup. All Froggy has to do is remember the rule: “Head it! Boot it! Knee it! Shoot it! BUT DON’T USE YOUR HANDS!” But Froggy’s busy doing cartwheels and picking daisies. Uh oh, Froggy! Here comes the ball! Budding soccer players and Froggy’s many fans will welcome Froggy’s latest hilarious adventure.
Published: April 13, 2010
In a dusty township in South Africa, Ajani and his friends have earned a brand-new, federation-size soccer ball.
They kick. They dribble. They run. They score. These clever boys are football champions! But when a crew of bullies tries to steal their ball, will Ajani and his friends be able to beat them at their own game?
Published: March 6, 2018
A soccer story—for boy and girls alike!
“Vini! Come! The field calls!” cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community—family, friends, and the local fruit vendor—for a pickup soccer (futbol) game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running—bearing balls, shoes, goals, and a love of the sport.
“Friends versus friends” teams are formed, the field is cleared of cows, and the game begins! But will a tropical rainstorm threaten their plans?
The world’s most popular and inclusive sport has found its spirited, poetic, and authentic voice in Baptiste Paul’s debut picture book—highlighting the joys of the game along with its universal themes: teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance. Creole words (as spoken in St. Lucia, the author’s birthplace island in the Caribbean) add spice to the story and are a strong reminder of the sport’s world fame. Bright and brilliant illustrations by debut children’s book illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara—winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship Award—capture the grit and glory of the game and the beauty of the island setting where this particular field was inspired.
Soccer fan or not, the call of The Field is irresistible.
Dino – Soccer
Published: November 1, 2013
When veggie-nibbling Grazers and meat-munching Biters take to the soccer field, it’s a showdown of prehistoric proportions. Diplodocus shows an herbivore’s soft touch and strikes first for the Grazers. But Gallimimus takes a pass from the twin Pterodactyls on the wings and finishes it off to even things up for the Biters. In the second half, Apatosaur scores the go-ahead goal for the veggie-side, but then a brawl results in red cards for both teams. Hungry to tie the game, Biter Allosaurus takes advantage. Now it’s 2-2, setting up the teeth-gnashing, claw-curling final minutes. . . .
Max Explains Everything: Soccer Expert
Published: February 19, 2019
Max knows a lot about soccer. After all, he’s been playing it for almost three weeks! So he’s pretty much an expert. Here Max shares his one-of-a-kind helpful tips including how to warm up (stretch, twirl, somersault), who’s who on the field (the ref is in yellow and wears a whistle–you should not bring your own whistle), and what to do with your hands since you can’t touch the ball (wave at fans, hide them in your shirt, play itsy-bitsy spider). But could Max possibly be forgetting something very important? Full of humor, energy, and warmth, Max Explains Everything: Soccer Expert is the perfect read aloud for novice players as well as for fellow “kid experts” on the game.
The Soccer Fence: A story of friendship, hope, and apartheid in South Africa
Published: March 13, 2014
In a country struggling with acceptance, hope can come in many different forms.
As a boy, Hector loved playing soccer in his small Johannesburg township. He dreamed of playing on a real pitch with the boys from another part of the city, but apartheid made that impossible. Then, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and apartheid began to crumble. The march toward freedom in South Africa was a slow one, but when the beloved Bafana Bafana national soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, Hector realized that dreams once impossible could now come true.
Happy Like Soccer
Published: May 8, 2012
Nothing makes Sierra happy like soccer. Her shoes have flames as she spins the ball down the spread-out sea of grass. But nothing makes her sad like soccer, too, because the restaurant where her auntie works is busy on game days and she can’t take time off to watch Sierra play. On game days, her auntie helps Sierra get ready and tells her, “Play hard and have fun.” And Sierra does, but she can’t help wishing she had someone there to root for her by name, and not just by the number on her uniform. With honesty and rare subtlety, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Lauren Castillo portray an endearing character in a moving, uplifting story that touches on the divides children navigate every day- and remind us that everyone needs someone to cheer them on from the sidelines.
Winners Never Quit!
Published: August 17, 2004
Mia Hamm, American soccer champion and bestselling author of Go for the Goal, tells a true-life-inspired story in this picture book.
Winners Never Quit! can help with the emotional side of playing sports—how to deal with a loss without getting angry or quitting, and how to be a good teammate. A strong choice for the young athlete in your family or classroom.
Soccer superstar Mia Hamm knows the value of teamwork and perseverance. She shares this lesson, paired with energetic illustrations by Carol Thompson, in this motivational story.
What Is the World Cup?
Published: March 6, 2018
Every four years, thirty-two of the best men’s soccer teams from across the globe compete for the title of FIFA World Cup winner. Over one billion people tuned in worldwide to watch the final game of the 2014 competition, making the World Cup the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Summer Olympics! This book takes a look back at what has changed since the first tournament in 1930 and what lies ahead for the most popular sport in the world.
Betty Bunny Wants a Goal
Published: March 18, 2014
Soccer is the first sport most kids play, and Betty Bunny is taking the field. She proudly announces that she will score ten goals in her first game. But like most preschoolers, Betty Bunny’s ideas are not exactly in line with reality. When she fails to score a single goal, she decides that “soccer is yucky” and stuffs her uniform in the trash. Now it’s up to her family to help Betty Bunny see the value of not giving up when things get hard. In a story about hard work and achieving your goals, Betty Bunny learns that with practice, she can do anything. But in Betty Bunny’s world, this lesson has surprising results.
Mina vs. the Monsoon
Published: December 1, 2018
Mina loves to play soccer all year round. Nothing comes close to it. But when the monsoon arrives, Mina is stuck indoors and she can’t help feeling restless and bored. Her ammi doesn’t understand. The doodhwalla doesn’t understand. That’s when Mina decides she’ll find ways of chasing away the clouds herself. In doing so, she makes an unexpected discovery. Soccer will never be the same again for Mina!
In a charming story that any kid who loves a sport will relate to, soccer-mad Mina tries just about any trick to stop the monsoon clouds from raining on her game. In doing so, she shows us glimpses of her life in a village in eastern India, highlighting the important role played by monsoon rains in this part of the world. The heart of the story, however, is the bond forged between a mother and her daughter on a gray, gloomy day.
Soccer Chapter Books for Kids Ages 6-9
Elementary school kids will love these illustrated chapter books about soccer.
Lola Levine Is Not Mean!
Published: November 3, 2015
Lola Levine likes writing in her diario, sipping her mom’s cafe con leche, eating her dad’s matzo ball soup, and playing soccer with her team, the Orange Smoothies. So what if she doesn’t always fit in?
Lola is fierce on the field, but when a soccer game during recess gets too competitive, she accidentally hurts her classmate Juan Gomez. Now everyone is calling her Mean Lola Levine! Lola feels terrible, but with the help of her family, her super best friend, Josh Blot, and a little “pencil power,” she just might be able to turn it all around.
In this first book in a series, young readers will be inspired by Lola’s big heart and creative spirit as she learns to navigate the second grade in true Lola style!
The Football Boy Wonder
Published: December 1, 2014
Charlie Fry is football mad. He sleeps wearing his team’s full kit and dreams of scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup final.
He plays football around the clock – at the park, on the way to school, at lunchtimes and even in his bedroom until his mum tells him off. But Charlie has a problem: he can’t run very far. He has plenty of skill but his poorly lungs stop him from sprinting. And as an 11-year-old planning to become the Golden Boot winner at the next World Cup, that’s a bit of an issue. Then one day a freak accident presents Charlie with a unique goal-scoring gift – it means he can’t miss. But can Charlie convince his local team Hall Park to give him the chance and use his newfound skill to deadly effect? Or will the nasty bullies from his school keep him stuck on the sidelines?
The Berenstain Bears: We Love Soccer!
Published: January 5, 2016
From passing the ball to scoring goals, there’s enough excitement on the soccer field to fill a sunny afternoon! But when Mama starts getting too involved, it’s up to the cubs to remind her what playing soccer is really all about.
The Berenstain Bears: We Love Soccer! is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences. Whether shared at home or in a classroom, the short sentences, familiar words, and simple concepts of Level One books support success for children eager to start reading on their own.
Saving the Team (The Kicks #1)
Published: May 7, 2013
Twelve-year-old Devin loves to play soccer. If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been named seventh-grade captain on her school soccer team.
But now that Devin is starting seventh grade in Kentville, California, all bets are off. After all, some of the best players on the US national team come from California. She’s sure to have stiff competition. Or so she thinks.
When Devin shows up for tryouts, she discovers that the Kentville Kangaroos—otherwise known as the Kicks—are an absolute mess. Their coach couldn’t care less whether the girls win or lose. And Devin is easily one of the most talented players.
The good news is, Devin quickly makes friends with funny, outgoing Jessi; shy but sweet Zoe; and klutzy Emma. Can Devin and her newfound friends pull together and save the team from itself?
Middle Grade Soccer Books
The middle schoolers in these tween soccer books are stars on and off the pitch.
Published: March 28, 2017
Rachel Brooks is excited for the new school year. She’s finally earned a place as a forward on her soccer team. Her best friends make everything fun. And she really likes Tate, and she’s pretty sure he likes her back. After one last appointment with her scoliosis doctor, this will be her best year yet.
Then the doctor delivers some terrible news: The sideways curve in Rachel’s spine has gotten worse, and she needs to wear a back brace twenty-three hours a day. The brace wraps her in hard plastic from shoulder blades to hips. It changes how her clothes fit, how she kicks a ball, and how everyone sees her–even her friends and Tate. But as Rachel confronts all the challenges the brace presents, the biggest change of all may lie in how she sees herself.
The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field
Published: March 2, 2021
After watching the World Cup on television, a group of Thai boys is inspired to form their own team. But on the island of Koh Panyee, in a village built on stilts, there is no open space. The boys can play only twice a month on a sandbar when the tide is low enough. Everything changes when the teens join together to build their very own floating soccer field.
Bea Is for Blended
Published: May 4, 2021
Bea and her mom have always been a two-person team. But now her mom is marrying Wendell, and their team is growing by three boys, two dogs, and a cat.
Finding her place in her new blended family may be tough, but when Bea finds out her school might not get the all-girls soccer team they’d been promised, she learns that the bigger the team, the stronger the fight—and that for the girls to get what they deserve, they’re going to need a squad behind them.
How to Win a Slime War
Published: September 14, 2021
Alex Manalo and his dad have just moved back to Sacramento to revive their extended family’s struggling Filipino market. While Alex likes helping at the store, his true passion is making slime! He comes up with his own recipes, playing with ingredients, colors, and textures, which make his slime truly special. Encouraged by a new friend at school, Alex begins to sell his creations, leading to a sell-off battle with a girl who previously had a slime-opoly. Winner gets bragging rights and the right to be the only slime game in town.
But Alex’s dad thinks Alex should be focused more on “traditional” boy pastimes and less on slime. As the new soccer coach, Dad wants Alex to join the team.
Alex is battling on multiple fronts–with his new friends at school, and with his dad at home. It will be a sticky race to the finish to see who oozes out on top.
Shoot-Out (Comeback Kids #5)
Published: May 13, 2010
What happens when a star player ends up on the worst team? He either learns to lose or he stops playing the game he loves. These are the choices facing Jake, who has gone from champion to last place, testing his sportsmanship every time his soccer team gets waxed. It is his teammate Kevin who shows Jake that being a good captain means scoring and assisting off the field as much as being the star player on it.
Ten Thousand Tries
Published: May 10, 2022
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?
Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field
Published: March 2, 2021
Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.
Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once — he needs time to sketch out a plan.
Love Puppies and Corner Kicks
Published: February 4, 2010
What?s a girl to do when Mom and Dad announce that the whole family is moving to Scotland for a yearlong teacher exchange? Can you spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r? When Andrea gets there, she finds she and her family are living with the principal and she is being pestered by the ultraweird Jasmin. But then she finds an amazing girls? soccer league and a cute boy named Stewart. Will Andrea?s new tough soccer girls accept that she is crushing on a boy from a rival team and not totally devoted to winning a championship? Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle.
YA Books About Soccer
You’re in for a ride with the teens in these soccer-centered YA stories.
Published: September 15, 2020
In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.
Far from Normal
Published: September 22, 2020
Maddie McPherson is sick of Normal―both her hometown of Normal, Illinois and being the ‘normal’ sibling. But when she lands a summer internship with a sports marketing firm, she finally has a chance to crawl out of her genius brother’s shadow. Not to mention, a glowing letter of recommendation could secure her admission to her dream college.
But Maddie’s nickname is “CalaMaddie” for a reason, and when the company tasks her with repairing the image of teen soccer phenom Gabriel Fortunato, she wonders if she’s set herself up for embarrassment. Gabriel is a tabloid magnet, who’s best-known for flubbing Italy’s World Cup hopes. As Maddie works with him to develop “pleasant and friendly” content for social media, she also learns he’s thoughtful, multi-talented, and fiercely loyal―maybe even to a fault. Falling for a footballer is exactly how CalaMaddie would botch this internship, but with the firm pressuring her to get the job done, perhaps her heart is worth risking?
Now Is the Time for Running
Published: July 5, 2011
When tragedy strikes, Deo’s love of soccer is all he has left. Can he use that gift to find hope once more?
Just down the road from their families, Deo and his friends play soccer in the dusty fields of Zimbabwe, cheered on by Deo’s older brother, Innocent. It is a day like any other ..until the soldiers arrive and Deo and Innocent are forced to run for their lives, fleeing the wreckage of their village for the distant promise of safe haven. Along the way, they face the prejudice and poverty that await refugees everywhere, and must rely on the kindness of people they meet to make it through.
But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for.
Published: April 5, 2016
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!
Gimme Everything You Got
Published: July 14, 2020
It’s 1979—the age of roller skates and feathered bangs, Charlie’s Angels and Saturday Night Fever—and Susan Klintock is a junior in high school with a lot of sexual fantasies . . . but not a lot of sexual experience. No boy—at least not any she knows—has been worth taking a shot on.
That is, until Bobby McMann arrives.
Bobby is foxy, he’s charming . . . and he’s also the coach of the brand-new girls’ soccer team. Sure, he’s totally, 100 percent, completely off limits. Sure, Susan doesn’t stand a chance. But that doesn’t mean she can’t try out for the team to get closer to him, and Susan Klintock has always liked a challenge.
Between the endless drills and grueling practices, Susan discovers something else: She might actually love soccer. But being a part of the first girls’ team at school means dealing with other challenges.
As friendships shifts, she finds her real passions might lie in places she didn’t expect when the season began—and that discovering who she is will mean taking risks, both on and off the pitch.
There they are: 28 of the best soccer books for kids! Which of these books have you read and loved? Which ones did I miss?
More Sports Books for Kids
- Sports graphic novels for tweens
- Basketball books for kids
- YA sports books for teens
- Middle grade books about sports
What do you think? Leave a comment