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The Beautiful Game

Regular Price $16.99

Regular Price $22.99 CAD

Regular Price $16.99

Regular Price $22.99 CAD

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On Sale

Sep 17, 2024

Page Count

336 Pages






A powerful story about family, fútbol, and playing like a girl, perfect for fans of Front Desk, The Academy, and, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret from the award-winning author of Furia.

At thirteen years old, Valeria "Magic" Salomón is already the best soccer player her town has ever seen. She has talent in spades and an abuelo whose tough-love coaching and lessons about “strength and honor” have made her the star of the Overlords, the top boys’ team in the state. 

But everything changes at the State Cup semi-final when Valeria gets her first period while Wearing. White. Shorts. After her team is unexpectedly eliminated, she goes from their secret weapon to their scapegoat. Soon, she doesn’t have a team at all anymore. She’s not sure she has a relationship with her grandfather either.  

Valeria’s a fighter, however. And with the help of her grandmother and support of her cheerleader BFF, she finds herself on a girls’ team for the first time. But the Amazons aren’t exactly excited to have her there. After all, Valeria’s spent years ignoring their existence. With the next tournament looming on the horizon, Valeria has a month to figure out her place on her new team and learn how to play like a girl. 

The award-winning author of Furia returns to the world of  “the beautiful game” in this uplifting, heartfelt novel about family, self-confidence, and the power of second chances. 


Méndez weaves Magic into this brilliant book. Middle grade writing at its best! —Donna Barba Higuera, Newbery and Pura Belpré-winning author of The Last Cuentista
The Beautiful Game will have you cheering. The perfect story for anyone who has ever felt scared of showing up as their full selves. —Andrea Beatriz Arango, Newbery honor author of Iveliz Explains it All
Fun, relatable, and genuine. Méndez laces up her cleats and brilliantly captures the emotional rollercoaster that is adolescence. This gem of a book will have you cheering from start to finish—a true game-changer. —Ernesto Cisneros, Pura Belpré award-winning author of Efrén Divided
“This is a story of girl power from the inside out.” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor author of Hattie Big Sky
The Beautiful Game is a beautiful coming of age story. I couldn’t put it down. —Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound and Omar Rising
Fútbol fans, rejoice! Yamile Saied Méndez scores the winning goal with this heartfelt story of a young girl learning about herself, her family, and her friends. Lace up your cleats and get ready to cheer for Valeria! —Adrianna Cuevas, Pura Belpré honor author of The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez
The Beautiful Game is pitch perfect! In this heartwarming tale, fútbol isn't just a game—it's a way of life. —Angela Cervantes, Pura Belpré honor author of Lety Out Loud
Tender and true, this story has all the sparkle and shine of a modern classic. —Corey Ann Haydu, author of The Widely Unknown Myth of Apple and Dorothy
A story like the best of fútbol games — full of surprising turns, well-earned triumphs, and people you can't help rooting for. Yamile Méndez writes the same way that Valeria plays her sport: with her whole, huge heart. —Jennifer Ziegler, author of Worser
Spunky and spirited, Valeria “Magic” Salomón, will win your heart when she discovers the beauty of trusting her team, her family, and, most importantly, herself! —Guadalupe García McCall, Pura Belpré award winning author of Under the Mesquite
For fans of the beautiful game and beautiful family stories, readers will root for Magic. An absolute winner! —Joy McCullough, award-winning author of Code Red
A lovely tale about different kinds of love: love for a sport, love between friends and love, however complicated, within families. —Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home
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