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Children's Fiction Soccer

Golden Goal

by (author) David Starr

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
Soccer, Emigration & Immigration, Values & Virtues, Homelessness & Poverty
Recommended Age
10 to 13
Recommended Grade
Recommended Reading age
7 to 8
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


When Dylan doesn't get off to a good start at his new school and gets in trouble for fighting, he has to join the soccer team with a group of immigrant and refugee students who play on a rough, gravel field. Mocked by his old team, Dylan becomes determined to bring his new team to the championship finals. Getting to know his teammates opens Dylans eyes about hardship, and shows him the value of a goal that wins in sudden-death play — a golden goal.

Golden Goal is one of four new books that offer readers insight into the experiences of refugee youth as they adjust to life in North America.

About the author

David Starr is a prize-winning author of five previous books. In The Nor’Wester, he told Duncan’s story of fleeing Scotland to Canada, where he joins Simon Fraser on his epic 1808 voyage by canoe down the Fraser. Bombs to Books chronicles the stories of refugee children and their families coming to B.C. Golden Goal and Golden Game are young adult soccer-themed books for reluctant readers. The Insider’s Guide to K–12 Education in B.C. is a resource guide for parents about the B.C. school system. David grew up in Fort St. James in northern British Columbia, and he now lives in Greater Vancouver with his wife, four children and a dog named Buster. He is one of the UBC Faculty of Education’s Top 100 Graduates and a school administrator in Metro Vancouver. For further information and readings availability, visit

David Starr's profile page


  • Nominated, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection - Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

"Soccer United stands apart for discussing the modern refugee crisis and the difficulties of resettlement for middle school readers."

School Library Journal

"Rated G: Good, even great at times, generally useful!"

Resource Links

"This is a fine book for reluctant readers or those wanting a good friends/sports book."


"It was such a subtle and powerful look at class from a kid's perspective ... I have to applaud the author for tackling such a difficult subject with this book and doing it really well."

NetGalley Reviewer

"The vocabulary is very suitable for the intended audience. Dialogue is extensive and realistic. The fast-paced plot adds to the enjoyment of the story ... The chapters end at a high point which would make this an excellent read-aloud choice ... Golden Goal would appeal to students who like soccer, team sports and realistic fiction. Highly Recommended."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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