As the World Cup final draws near, No. 4 Netherlands prepares to face Spain for the international title after edging out Brazil and Uruguay. Seeking its first World Cup title, the Dutch team’s quest calls up distant memories of the Brazilian underdogs and the youngest soccer player to ever to play in a final match.
In 1958, 17-year-old Pelé and the Brazilian soccer team seemed a long shot to advance to the quarterfinals. After defeating Austria, USSR, Wales and France, Brazil beat host Sweden 5-2 to gain the country’s first World Cup title. Pelé led Brazil to two more titles in 1962 and 1966, and earned his place as the greatest soccer player of all time.
NAU professor of English and award-winning author, Monica Brown, spins the tale of destiny realized in the life of the Brazilian soccer legend and his climb to greatness in her bilingual children’s picture book, Pelé, King of Soccer/Pelé, El rey del fútbol.
Illustrated by renowned artist Rudy Gutiérrez, Pelé teems with action and movement, drawing readers into the colorful landscape of a boy’s love for soccer. A video preview of the book, as described by the author, can be viewed here.
Brown’s seventh bilingual children’s book, Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/Lado A Lado: La Historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez, will be released Aug. 31. Illustrated by Joe Cepeda, Side by Side vividly tells the story of the fight to improve the rights of farmworkers in America in the 1960s.