Worldwide, fans love the game of football, called soccer here in the U.S.. In fact, more and more children play soccer growing up. Which can be a motivating topic for kids when they’re picking a book to read. Try these soccer (football) books with your kids.
You’ll find picture books, early readers, beginning chapter books, middle grade chapter books, and nonfiction books.
I sincerely hope these books get your kids not just learning about soccer but READING a lot.
My First Book of Soccer A Rookie Book (Sports Illustrated Kids)
I just love this series of introductory sports picture books. The layout is fantastic with eye-popping photos on colorful backgrounds and large text that is just right for young readers. You’ll learn about the entire game from the teams to the rules and moves. And, both men and women are represented in the photos which is awesome!
Max Explains Everything Soccer Expert by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Deborah Hocking
What a funny and playful kids-eye view of the game of soccer. I really like that it doesn’t focus on winning but the fun of playing and of course, the snacks. Max explains everything from warming up to what to bring “The game starts when the ref blows the whistle. He’s the guy in yellow, and he has a whistle. (You should not bring your own whistle.) Other stuff you should not bring to a soccer game: crayons. A blanket (even if you just want to wear it as a cape).“
The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara
This enchanting picture book shows the joy of kids playing soccer (futbol) — in a green field on a Caribbean island. They get set up and start to play but the rain comes pouring down. Will they play on? Of course, they will! At least until their mamas call them home at the end of the day. Multilingual text in English and Creole give this story a rich, unique flavor. Aren’t these illustrations vibrant?! Bol. Ball. Soulye. Shoes. Goal. Goal.
Let’s Play Soccer! by Giuliano Ferri
Does your family like soccer? You’ll want to read this book to your kids then. A cut-out circle showing a soccer ball on the right-side page but when you turn the page, the left-side shows the circle as a different player’s head. The story is simple and perfect for young readers, including new readers. “The game begins. Hedgehog throws the ball.” Turn the page to read “Rabbit kicks it past Crocodile” The team passes, flips, kicks, and heads the ball until finally the team scores! Simple illustrations, not too busy — this is a keeper.
Goodnight Soccer by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
A little girl says goodnight to a soccer game, the kickoff to the final goal.
Pelé, King of Soccer / Pelé, Ele Rey del futbol by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez Dramatic illustrations help narrate the inspiring bilingual story of a poor boy from Brazil who became the best soccer player in the world — Pelé.
Soccer Score by CC Joven, illustrated by Alex Lopez
Mia likes soccer and today is her first game. She’s ready with new gear. She’s also a fast runner. But will she be able to score a goal?
The Berenstain Bears We Love Soccer by Mike Berenstain
Brother and Sister Bear love playing soccer or the Rockets but sometimes they need Mama to not distract them from what the game is all about.
Kick It Mo! by David A. Adler, illustrated by Sam Ricks
Mo’s been working on improving his kicking but it won’t matter if he doesn’t get the ball. Will he get the chance to use his new skills in the big game?
It’s Hard to Dribble with Your Feet by Val Priebe, illustrated by Jorge Horacio Santillan
Carmen’s great at basketball but switching to soccer is a huge learning curve. Especially with dribbling and not using your hands.
Who Wants to Play Just for Kicks? by Chris Kreie, illustrated by Jorge Santillan
Josh wants to practice his hockey skills over spring break but his friends want to play soccer, something Josh doesn’t play. But, he learns that sometimes it’s fun to play a sport just for fun.
Soccer on Sunday (Merlin Mission #24) by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca
Jack and Annie travel to 1970’s World Cup game and search for world-famous soccer star, Pelé. There’s around 100,000 fans so how will they find him?
Lola Levine Is Not Mean by Monica Brown
Second-grade soccer-loving Lola, daughter of a Peruvian mom and Jewish dad, is misunderstood. Her classmates think she’s mean but really she’s just a competitive person. When she accidentally hurts someone’s ankle playing soccer, she feels terrible especially since her classmates say she’s mean. But, things turn around for Lola when her class does science time with her brother’s kindergarten class. Loved the diversity and the topic — many kids will be able to relate to this charming story.
Soccer Show-Off by Jake Maddox, illustrated by Katie Wood (ages 8+)
Gina joins the soccer team at her new school and tries to be the star–which her teammates don’t like. She’ll learn a valuable lesson about teamwork
The Kicks by Alex Morgan
Finally, a fantastic book (series) for soccer girls! If you have a soccer player in your house, and I think a LOT of you do, you’ll want to get your soccer lover this book –actually, buy her the entire series. Written by Olympic Gold Medalist and U.S. Soccer team member (among other things), Alex Morgan, this series is realistic stories of life, friendship, and playing soccer.
Booked by Kwame Alexander
I’m AMAZED at how skillfully Alexander writes about the teenage human condition — he just gets it! 12-year old Nick struggles with his parents’ separation, a school bully, and the awkwardness of a first crush. The only thing that feels right is soccer…until he gets injured and can’t play. This lyrical, fast-paced story feels honest and relatable. Alexander’s books are almost always guaranteed to get middle school kids excited to read, reluctant readers included.
Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Paul is a soccer player — at least he will be if he can go to a different school that doesn’t know about his IEP for vision. And if he can avoid his dangerous brother and play soccer on this team, maybe Tangerine County, Florida won’t be so bad after all. After some horrific things occur including a murder, Paul remembers how he lost his vision and makes a stand for what is right. EXCELLENT but a little dark — be ready. This is a gritty, realistic story.
Spotlight Soccer (Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels) by Ricardo Sanchez, illustrated by Ian Waryanto If you like graphic novels and soccer, you’ll enjoy this story about a boy named Franco who wants to go pro. But a school and team change becomes his worst nightmare with new teammates who are ball-hogs and coaches who don’t care. Can Franco make his mark and achieve his goals?
Spotlight Striker (Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels) by Blake A. Hoena, illustrated by Gerardo Sandoval
When the state’s best team and his soccer-pro uncle come to town, nerves get the best of Carlos. He misses the ball, he’s totally struggling. Can he get out of his head and back in the game?
Shoot-Out by Mike Lupica
Star player, Jake, lands on the worst team; a team that always loses. He’ll have to decide if he’s going to quit or try to help his team on and off the field.
Everything Soccer (National Geographic Kids) by Blake Hoena What an amazing, eye-catching, informational book! You’ll read all about everything soccer including the history and gear accompanied with full-colored photographs.
What Is the World Cup? by Bonnie Bader, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi
Do you know about the World Cup? Read the history including memorable highlights with black and white illustrations throughout.
Soccer: A Nonfiction Companion to the Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #24 by Mary Pope Osborne, Natalie Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca
Get the scoop on everything soccer from the rules to the great players and the World Cup. Illustrated and just right for growing readers ages 6 to 9.
Stars of World Soccer by Illugi Jokulsson
Short biographies of famous players from around the world will fascinate and motivate young readers.