Thursday, July 17, 2014

The David Luiz Story by Alex Carpenter

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion. A small amount of promotional advertisement is included in the following post.

Taking a little break from my July break to post this review. 

The story of David Luiz, 2010 player of the year and a rising star in international professional soccer, whose faith and success are inspiring to young athletes.

David Luiz has been impressing crowds since he was a boy. But it is his faith, not his fame, that drives him to greater success and keeps him "defending the line". David made his debut in professional soccer as a left fullback when he was just 19. He was then picked up by Portugal's Benefica team and named player of the year for the 2009-2010 season. As a star defender and vice-captain for the Brazilian national team, David shines both on and off the field, inspiring athletes around the world with his incredible soccer skills and his unwavering faith.

Written for kids ages 8-12 and soccer fans of all ages.  As part of the Zonderkidz biography series, Defending the Line reveals the true story behind this sports celebrity, motivating young readers and giving parents, youth leaders, and librarians an inspirational new hero.
This book is available on Amazon and other online retailers. 
About the Author:
Alex Carpenter was born and raised in Brazil but attended and international English-language school, allowing him to be fluent in Portuguese and English. Alex played soccer in high school in Brazil and is a fan of both Brazilian and European soccer. He attended the film school at Biola University and then worked in Hollywood as a personal assistant to director Gary Ross. He later earned a MFA in creative writing from Chapman University and now teaches English and literature at an inner-city high school in downtown Los Angeles. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Long Beach, California. 
I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my unbiased opinion. No other compensation given and I was not required to give a positive review. 
My thoughts:
I chose this book for my son to read because I grew up in Brazil. I know from experience the importance soccer plays in the lives and culture of those people. Brazilians live, eat, breathe soccer, especially during world cup seasons. I also know how the country needs players who are willing to stand up for God and really live out their faith. I was hoping my son would not only be impacted by David's faith but also inspired by his ability to rise above his meager beginnings. And he would see how through effort, diligence, and use of the talents God gives each of us, we can make something of our lives.  
Although, I did not read this entire book myself, I did read some portions to my son, and also helped him along the way. There are many words which are in Portuguese, especially names of teams, associations, towns, stadiums, etc.. My son is nine and just entering the fourth grade, so at times the terminology was tedious. My son is not a die-hard fan of any particular kind of sport, but did seem to enjoy the book, especially once it got into David's life story. He enjoyed the part about David growing up poor and becoming famous. He said it never really tells about David's conversion or salvation, but it does talk about his faith on the field by praying for his teammates and not being ashamed that God is part of his life. I would say though that there is certainly more about soccer in this book than about faith. But the message is clear that David's goal is to give God honor and glory for his position and abilities in soccer. Personally, I would like to know more about the faith side of his life verses the athletic side. I'm giving it 3.5 to 4 stars.
This book is marketed for ages 8-12, or aligns with Common Core Standards for grades 6-8. I think the kids on the younger end of that spectrum could use a little help. It certainly came in handy that Portuguese is my second language, and that I understand some of the soccer dynamics from growing up in that country, as well as could explain the locations and what certain words meant. There is a dictionary of sorts for some of the words used to describe foods and other Brazilian things at the beginning of the book. And if you happen to be a die-hard soccer fan, then maybe you will get more out of the terms, teams, leagues, etc, than we did. 


  1. Amy, you are so right about the need for faith being portrayed in pro sports! Other than the fact that I like to watch figure skating, I'm not a sports fan, yet I became interested in soccer a couple of weeks ago when Beth suggested I watch Germany in the World Cup playoffs if I had time. Her ministry team is caught up in soccer just like the rest of Germany. Loved your honest review of this book!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carole, I wish I could give all books I read five stars. And speaking of the World Cup, sadly... for me anyhow... Brazil lost to Germany. :-)

  2. I didn't know you grew up in Brazil. I have found that with books at a higher reading level are best read to the kids by me so I can help with understanding, as you did. This does sound interesting for the soccer fan.

  3. Faith and sports are such a great way to lift up God and draw more people to the Lord. My son is always encouraged by these kind of stories.

  4. Cara Senhora,
    Muito obrigado por comentar sobre o livro escrito pelo filho de nossos amigos. Alex participou no nosso casamento, ( na barriga de sua mae ), apesar de vivermos em Maringa, observamos o crescimento do Alex (paulista). Somente hoje viemos a saber de seu livro. Surpriendente alegria.

  5. Cara Senhora,
    Com muita alegria, somente hoje descobrimos que o Alex escreveu algo.Alex esteve em nosso casamento ( dentro da barriga da mae ). Observamos seu crescimento longe da cidade de Maringa. Grato por sua opniao.Tres anos passaram, mas alegria nao tem idade.


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