Summary: Ten Thousand Tries
In Ten Thousand Tries, Golden Macaroni is having a tough year. First, he really wants to get bigger and become the captain of his middle school soccer team. As a dedicated Messi fan, he’s working on putting in ten thousand hours of soccer practice so that he can become as good as Messi. His former-soccer-star father has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). His best friend, Lucy Littlehouse is also moving away from her home next door to Golden’s. Despite his dad’s obvious deterioration, Golden stubbornly believes that his dad will get better. How will he cope with everything on his plate — and the heartbreaking challenges ahead of his family?
I loved this story. The writing is beautiful and the emotions are so relatable. Golden is in denial about the seriousness of his father’s health challenges. He keeps trying to get his dad to exercise more, even as his muscles weaken, even as his mother tells him that his father’s wheelchair will be arriving soon. The author does a brilliant job of detailing the family’s experience with this terrible disease, showing how Golden’s mother balances the load of being wife, mother, and soccer coach for his team.
The best part of this story is that it somehow remains light — despite being about illness and accepting a tough blow from life. Humor sneaks into every page and Golden’s antics will tickle and frustrate you. I loved all the soccer team moments and the dynamic storytelling that brings all the on-pitch action to life. Golden’s friendship with Lucy and Benny as well as the way their families support each other was heartwarming to read.
Another highlight of this story is Golden’s family. His mom, sisters, and dad have a real sense of humor that carries the family through such rough times. I loved that his three sisters are distinct personalities that bring their own flavor to the story.
Overall: Ten Thousand Tries
Ten Thousand Tries is a moving, heartwarming story about family, friendship, community, soccer, and the love of a father. This book artfully manages the delicate balance of real-life suffering with the humor we can find lurking in small, mundane moments. With engaging soccer scenes; and warm, healthy friendship and family dynamics; this book is hard to put down. If you like books about soccer, families banding together, and books that make you laugh and cry, this is not one to miss.
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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