Written by Kwame Alexander

Publisher’s Summary:
Twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.

Primary Source Pairing:
Nick and Coby live and breathe soccer. From the field to video games, soccer is in the front of their minds. After an unexpected appendectomy, Coby plays in the Dallas Cup while Nick recuperates. Coby spotted soccer superstar Pelé at the tournament and bragged about it to Nick. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study a photograph of Pelé from 1960.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • How would this photograph be different if it were taken today?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Pelé 1960 photograph: Wikipedia

Related Primary Source Pairings:
Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet, Written by Jen Bryant