Synopses & Reviews
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.
This poignant story of friendship artfully depicts a brief but critical moment in South Africas history and the unique role that sports can play in bringing people together.
Drawing from the rich store of Civil War reminiscences handed down in her family, acclaimed author/illustrator Polacco tells the true story of a remarkable wartime friendship between a young white Union soldier and a young black Union soldier who are captured by Confederate soldiers and sent to Andersonville Prison.
When Sheldon Russell Curtis told this story to his daughter, Rosa, she kept every word in her heart and was to retell it many times.
I will tell it in Sheldon's own words as nearly as I can.
He was wounded in a fierce battle and left for dead in a pasture somewhere in Georgia when Pinkus found him. Pinkus' skin was the color of polished mahogany, and he was flying Union colors like the wounded boy, and he picked him up out of the field and brought him to where the black soldier's mother, Moe Moe Bay, lived. She had soft, gentle hands and cared for him and her Pink.
But the two boys were putting her in danger, two Union soldiers in Confederate territory They had to get back to their outfits. Scared and uncertain, the boys were faced with a hard decision, and then marauding Confederate troops rode in.
In this Civil War story passed from great-grandfather to grandmother, to son, and finally to the author-artist herself, Patricia Polacco once again celebrates the shared humanity of the peoples of this world."
About the Author
An avid soccer fan, Phil Bildner has sat on the Real Madrid bench at el Estadio de Santiago Bernabéu, and he has watched from the bleachers as Lionel Messi scored a hat trick during an Argentina-Brazil showdown. Away from the pitch, Phil was an attorney and taught middle school in the New York City public schools. He is the author of the Texas Bluebonnet Awardwinning Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy
, and the co-author with Loren Long of the New York Times
bestselling Sluggers series.
Jesse Joshua Watson has traveled extensively, developing a deep passion for sharing the beauty of the worlds cultures. He has always cared deeply about South Africain high school he campaigned for Nelson Mandelas freedom by organizing awareness and student action. In addition to writing and illustrating books and teaching art to kids, Jesse plays soccer religiously. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington, with his wife and their sons.