Author: Mina Javaherbin

Illustrator: A. G. Ford

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Ajani has been awarded a federation-size soccer ball for being the best reader in class. He calls out to his friends to join him and is excited because they no longer have to use an old plastic ball for their games. He knows that the streets of their South African town are dangerous, so the boys draw sticks and Badu, with the shortest stick, becomes the first guard on the roof. A neglectful Badu jumps down as the game intensifies
and suddenly without warning the bullies arrive and surround them. The boys are trapped! With a bit of quick thinking and resourcefulness the boys are able to save the precious ball and continue their game.

Link to YouTube book trailer: GOAL! book trailer
Below is the same trailer but as a converted file. To view a larger screen use the You Tube link.

Activities for Goal:

You read the story and understood it from the point of view of Ajani and his friends. Now switch the story up and describe it from the bullies point of view. Share your writing with your group.

Locate the country of South Africa on a map. Research to learn about its climate, people, traditions, and the type of games kids like to play. Share what you have learned.

Bullying is a theme of the story GOAL: What do you think bullying is? What can be done about it?

It Gets Better-Authors and Illustrators Unite
A wonderful anti-bullying video collaboration about how things can seem tough but they will get better.

It Gets Better YouTube video link

YouTube video-might be blocked by some school districts. See school policy on overriding the content filter.

Thank you for the education resources
Mina Javaherbin
A. G. Ford
Candlewick Press, Inc.
Phil Bildner- Its Gets Better Author and Illustrators Unite
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com