fiction football (soccer) short stories Turkey YA

praise from an unexpected quarter

Have just seen an advance review of Steve Berman’s inspirational YA anthology Speaking Out from Kirkus Reviews, notorious in book circles for brutal negativity. The one-paragraph review disappoints, not for its expected negativity (Kirkus doesn’t think much of the book) so much as errors of fact—the book has more than one transgender protagonist, Kirkus; the (slim but definite) majority of characters are female; and it’s the reviewer’s innate bias that reads most of the boys as white, not anything in the text.

Still, my pleasure in the following line is not diminished:

In Alex Jeffers’ standout “Captain of the World,” a gay, Turkish Muslim goalie fights back against both racial and sexual harassment on the soccer field.

Bold Strokes Books will release Speaking Out in September.

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