Posts Tagged ‘soccer’

Italy vs. German: Euro Cup 2016

July 1, 2016

My name and heritage might be German, but I’ll be cheering for the Azzurri this Saturday, July 2, at 3:00 Eastern time and noon Pacific time on ESPN 2 when the Italians take on Germany in the Euro quarterfinal match. After all, once upon a time, my American son dreamed of playing for the Italian World Cup team.  He’d lived in Italy from pre-school through second grade and attended the local schools.  The whole idea of citizenship thing wasn’t quite clicking for him, and he’d once mistaken a dollar bill for a Deutchmark.

While we lived in Italy, I had the opportunity to watch a local Italian-speaking team play against a local German-speaking team while doing the research for my soccer novel, Defending Irene. So I know some of what will be shouted from both sidelines.

“Schnell! Schnell! Schnell!” from the Germans.  (Fast, fast, fast.)

Dai!, Dai! Dai!” from the Italians. It sounds like “Die! Die! Die!” which might have been a bit unsettling to English players even though they undoubtedly expected it. I don’t have a really good translation for dai, but it’s similar to “Come on!”  I’ve heard “Ma dai!” used as a protest.

If you’re curious about just how passionate Italians are about soccer, consider checking Defending Irene out of your local library. It’s also available in hardcover at Amazon.  The Kindle edition, while available for pre-order now, will be released on August 9th. I’ll include an excerpt from the first chapter in the coming days.

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A Book for Girls Who Love Soccer

December 10, 2014

Do you have a fifth, sixth or seventh grade girl in your life who likes soccer? Well, here’s a spot of shameless self-promotion.  I’m going to share a few reasons why you might consider getting  a copy of DEFENDING IRENE as a Christmas present for a girl who loves to play soccer.

Let me start with a short summary:

A thirteen-year-old American girl plays on a fiercely competitive boy’s soccer team during the year her family spends in Italy and experiences culture clashes both on and off the field.
A girl who plays soccer in Italy is regarded in much the same way as a girl who plays football  in America.  So Irene faces opposition from players, coaches, and even her Italian grandmother.
Here are some reviews:
 What keeps this tale from being just another soccer story with play-by-play action is the unique setting; the inventiveness of the chapter headings, which consist of Italian words, pronunciations, and definitions; and Irene’s determination.” —School Library Journal

“Soccer fans, especially girls, will appreciate the well-drawn action sequences and Irene’s feisty spirit.” —Horn Book Guide
The March, 2008 of Library Sparks included this novel in their round-up of soccer picks as did School Library Journal in their Extra Helping series.  It was also listed in Nancy Keane’s The Big Book of Teen Reading Lists in the Girls in Sports category for younger teens.

You typically won’t find this book at a bookstore–it was published a long time ago–so you’d probably have to order it  by clicking on one of this link to  Amazon.   But if you think DEFENDING IRENE might interest a young soccer-playing friend,  another very good option would be to check it out at your local library or talk to your children’s librarian about ordering a copy.