Soccer Duel

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Puffin Books, Mar 1, 1990 - Soccer stories - 221 pages
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Going out for soccer seems like a great idea to Terry, until he finds out that he's not as good as he thinks. He's used to starring on the football team, but now he's obviously outclassed by the Eagles' new player from Poland, Krystian. Trying to keep his self-respect, Terry only makes matters worse with his hotdog tactics. He knows his moves are hurting the team - but isn't that better than hurting his pride?

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About the author (1990)

In His Own Words...

"I can't remember when I first started writing fiction. it was shortly after I began reading fiction, I'm sure.

"I've been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I read a lot of the same kinds of books I'm writing-the John R. Tunis sports stories, for example. I also read a lot of history when I was young-and I still do now. It's always fascinated me.

"When I was a high school senior, I was offered two jobs, both of the apprentice sort. One was in a commercial artist's studio, on a recommendation from my art teacher. The other was in the sports department of the local newspaper, following work on the school paper. I took the sportswriting job.

"For four years I worked for the Arkansas Gazette while attending the University of Arkansas, first at Little Rock and then at Fayetteville, covering football, baseball, basketball, boxing, golf, tennis-everything that made up the sports page. After graduation, I joined the Associated Press as a newsman at Little Rock and later worked in AP bureaus in Detroit, Birmingham, and New Orleans. Eventually, I was Chief of Bureau in Little Rock, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Tokyo, Japan. I retired from the Associated Press in 1993 and now live in Evansville, Indiana.

"For me, writing fiction is fun, relaxing, and satisfying-an enjoyable change of pace, a recharging of the batteries.

"My first young adult novel, Running Scared, got started one night in a motel room in Champaign, Illinois, when I had nothing else to do. Before long, the story had me in its grip. The creation of the thing was a fascinating experience. I liked the characters. I liked leading them through their problems to their triumphs. I kept going until one day it was finished.

"I did not set out to write for young people. Looking back, I think it was something of a blessing that 1 did not. As I wrote Running Scared, I imagined the reader as an adult, but after it was finished, it seemed more appropriate for young readers. The result, I think, was that the story did not talk down to teenagers. In every book I've written since, I've tried to keep the same approach.

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