Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts so I was very excited to hear that she wrote a new picture book, Happy Like Soccer! I use Those Shoes as a read aloud, mentor text, and in my minilessons for reading and writing workshop throughout the year with my 5th graders. So the first few times I read Happy Like Soccer, my wheels were spinning with all the ways I can refer to parts of it in my reading and writing instruction next year.
The story is about a young girl, Sierra, who loves to play soccer, but in the same breath she hates it because her auntie can not take time off from work on Saturdays to watch her play or cheer for her on the sidelines. When each game starts, she sees and hears families cheering for her teammates; she is the only one that doesn't have someone there. One day, Sierra's game has to be rescheduled due to rain and she gets the idea to talk to her coach about rescheduling it on a day her auntie is off from work.
This story has a powerful, young character who has a strong relationship with her auntie and wants to hear her name called from the sidelines. As educators, it reminds us how important family members are to our students and we must remember this when we schedule writing celebrations, class celebrations, plays, concerts, and any other event when family members are invited. We need to remember that not everyone has a family member that can take time off from work as easily as some others. I look forward to reading aloud Happy Like Soccer in my classroom and referring to it as a mentor text in my reading and writing workshop minilessons.