Boys was reviewed at Jared Montz Soccer by Tim Patterson:
Let me tell you a bit about my life. Friday Night Lights is my favorite movie. Friday Night Lights is my favorite TV show (now that LOST is dead). Friday Night Lights, the book that inspired producer Peter Berg and audiences across the country, is one of my favorite reads. Soccer, however, is my favorite sport.
Lucky for me, Jared was able to form a quick bond between my favorite things by plopping The Little Boys from Mexico into my lap.”
The Little Boys from Mexico crisscrosses and documents the tales of soccer, education, immigration, and high school in rural Oregon. Instead of focusing exclusively on soccer and its counterparts, author Steve Wilson weaves in “how immigration has changed the town’s school system, and how the boys struggle to achieve success at home, school, and on the pitch. The Little Boys from Mexico also focuses on two players and their relationships with a foster parent and the team’s white coach.” While Friday Night Lights is scrutinized under a microscope as a small town that lives, breathes, and bleeds high school football, this book examines the less popular sport of fútbol and the core group of teammates that fight battles on and off the pitch, sometimes without the support of their own families.
The book is easy to read and even easier to relate to. Characters named Octavio, Angel, Carlos, and Martin seem like my best friends after only a few chapters. I’ve played against predominantly Hispanic soccer clubs and have been able to maintain several causal, but long relationships with some of their players. I remember meeting a poverty stricken goalkeeper, George, who I conversed with before, after, and even during games. I’m sad to report that Hispanics are met with negative stereotypes in Texas, but at least a few of my teammates and myself have seen these individuals as competitive and hardworking soccer players, not criminal undocumented immigrants.
My only complaint is the misleading depiction of Jesuit High School, the so-called “bad guys” of the story. Wilson asserts that Jesuit has the pick of the litter of all Oregon teenage soccer players, selecting the best and brightest for their championship team. While this claim may hold some validity, I, a recent graduate of Dallas Jesuit, find this hard to believe. Jesuit admits students based on academic performance and the potential for individual and spiritual development.
I don’t want to delve too deep into the raw passion, challenges, heartbreak, and the “Believe in it!” mentality of Los Perros’ 2005 tumultuous season. That’s a journey for you the reader to undertake yourself.
See it here: