Saturday, June 14, 2014

Frankie vs. the Pirate Pillagers by Frank Lampard -- ESSENTIAL

Lampard, Frank Frankie Vs. the Pirate Pillagers (Frankie's Magic Soccer Ball Vol. I), 96 pgs. Scholastic Paperbacks, 2014. $4.99. Content: G.

When Frankie wins a game at a carnival, he has no idea that the soccer ball he receives as a prize will turn out to be magic. But an impromptu match with the ball afterward transports Frankie, his friends, and his dog to a fantastical ship, where they go head-to-head against a group of pirates. Frankie and his friends have no choice but to play, and play hard, because the winners get to go home while the losers will be marooned on a deserted island.

This action-packed story entertains while demonstrating the benefits of tenacity, creative thinking, and good sportsmanship. The soccer terminology may confuse students who are not familiar with the game, but soccer fans will likely be drawn into the action, and others may discover a new interest in the sport. The paranormal aspect adds some uniqueness without making the book too scary, and the cartoony illustrations are a fun pairing with the text.

EL (K-3) -- ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Caryn

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