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The Boys from Little Mexico: A Season Chasing the American Dream
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The Boys from Little Mexico: A Season Chasing the American Dream

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  24 reviews
For nineteen straight years, the all-Hispanic boys’ soccer team from Oregon’s Woodburn High has made the playoffs. As they prepare to make it twenty, one thing will become clear: Los Perros play the beautiful game with heart, pride, and their lives on the line. Their spirited drive gives a rare sense of hope and unity to a blue-collar farming community that has been transf ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Beacon Press (first published June 1st 2010)
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This book is one part sports novel, one part sociological novel.

Where Wilson does well is describing the boys' feelings, and those of their coach, Mike Flannigan as they attempt to win an Oregon State Soccer Championship. What also works well is the descriptions of the Oregon towns of the Willamette Valley and how their makeup has changed just within the last 20 years. The fact that Oregon, in general, is a mostly White state that has, despite its generally liberal leanings, interesting viewpoin
An engaging story of young soccer players making their way in the world, encountering prejudice and racism, systemic challenges, and an immigration system that so often fails and denies people's families, dreams, and national needs for talent and labor. The efforts of caring coaches and struggles of players is familiar in the sporting story subgenre that focuses on teams from marginalized communities that yet strive and struggle, and yet Wilson, like the best writers of such stories, works hard ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Colund
The Boys from Little Mexico is one of those rare gems of literary non-fiction that exhibits beautiful writing and a compelling narrative while promoting true understanding among people and groups who might not otherwise come into contact with each other. It's about so much more than sports; it is about the meaning of sports for the players and coaches we meet while reading it. Some of these boys knew that a soccer scholarship was their only shot at a four-year college education; others acknowled ...more
I'm a FirstReads winner! Can't wait for it to arrive!

8/8. I won this a few weeks ago but still waiting for it to arrive, hopefully, it will be soon! 8/22. It's still not here! 9/8. It arrived yesterday!

The "Boys from Little Mexico" is a non-fiction book about an all-Hispanic boys' soccer team from Oregon that has made the playoffs for 19 straight years. As they prepare to make it 20, the team is determined that this will be the season that they finally win the Oregon state championship.

In 2005
I'm generally up for any soccer-related book, and this examination of an Oregon high school team comprised almost exclusively of first-generation immigrants (both documented and not) from Mexico promised to be an engaging read. Of course, like all the best "sports" books, its more interesting aspects are about society, not the sport.

The book's framework is the Woodburn High School 2005 boy's soccer season, as the team attempts to make the playoffs for the 20th straight year and win the state cha
Jon Newswanger
A good read about the almost-exclusively-Latino Woodburn High School soccer team. It follows the team through the 2005 season. Does well to address issues in the areas imigration and education.

I hoped to gain some insight into the mind of the coach at the time (a notoriously hard coach for us referees to get along with), but it failed to do that form me. Rather, Wilson portrays us as racist, corrupt, incompetent, or so eager not to appear biased toward one team that we go and subconciously favor
Luis Perez
This is a really interesting book about a high school soccer team, but it is about much more than that. It touches on not just the hopes and dreams of young men, but a particular group of young men, mainly poor immigrants from Mexico. Up in Oregon, of all places, there is a town where scores of immigrants have settled and built lives, sometimes permanently and in many cases, transitory. As yu'd expect, the soccer program is generally very competitive although the stae championship has continued ...more
Paul Carr
Interesting story about a high school soccer team in a Hispanic-filled Oregon town, and the various on- and off-field travails of a season. Never quite as compelling as it seems it should have been, perhaps because the author went for breadth of coverage rather than depth. A decent read, but not a must.
I received a free copy from the Goodreads program.

The story of a soccer season with the Woodburn Bulldogs, this book follows a team through a difficult year, while illuminating what came before and after. The author is a gifted observer, and retells the minutiae of soccer games and personal interactions well. Though I knew I'd be most interested in the immigrant experience, I was surprised by how interested I was in the game as well--though I played soccer and liked it a great deal, I had never
Those who enjoyed H.G. Bissinger's Friday Night Lights will enjoy this book for the same reasons. In it, the author follows a high school sports team, the sport of choice being soccer instead of football. He chronicles the ambition, stuggles, foibles, triumphs of the players and coaches, revealing what part sports play in the lives of young people. While this book lacks the character depth and hard-hitting cultural relevance that Bissinger's conveys, it does these boys' lives meaningful to the r ...more
Very excited to have won a First Reads copy of this book. Looking forward to reading it!

“The Boys from Little Mexico” is an intimate look at the all Hispanic Woodburn High School soccer team during their 2005 season and their quest for a state championship that had long eluded them. Along the way we get to know members of the team and their challenges and struggles on and off the pitch. This is more than just a book about futbol Steve Wilson sheds light on the US education system and puts a huma
Leah (packfan20)
Goodreads win - July 1, 2010

I enjoyed this book because it told a lot from the perspective of the players and not just the coaches. It showed that many people have good hearts and while winning is good, success in all aspects of life is important. (view spoiler)

I did however feel that it was a bit racist against both whites and minorities, especially towards the beginning.
This book appealed to me on many personal levels. I am married to a man from Mexico, he coaches or children’s soccer teams; soccer and coaching strategies are the main topic of conversation in our house during certain seasons. I had high expectations going into this story and the author did not disappoint me. I think the author did a good job at illuminating disparities and prejudice that sometimes goes unseen. He also made the sport of soccer accessible to readers. An enjoyable book.
Muneer Uddin
Wilson has done a great thing, tailing these kids around, detailing their experiences and the class struggles they must endure.

Sadly, the book was not what I expected, which was to focus on sports and build from the talk about the team to the players. Even though the games get a fair amount of attention, they feel secondary to Wilson's thoughts about the immigration battles.

It's a good book for people interested in sociology, not so much for sports fans.
Steve Wilson follows the varsity soccer team from Woodburn High School (Oregon) through one season. The Woodburn team has played in the state championship for twenty years and is now made up of Hispanic immigrants and sons of immigrants. It is a very telling look at the struggles faced by Hispanics in the US-language, education, jobs, prejudice, immigration status and the part that soccer plays.
Bill Ford
If I knew anything about soccer I might have enjoyed it more; however, I read it to learn more about the challenges that poor minority students face, particularly the children of illegal immigrants. It was interesting.
Won this on Goodreads Jul1 and had given up hope of receiving it. As soon as I removed it from my list, it arrived. Go figure. It's back on my to read list.
Excellent book. See my full review on my blog:
it was good if you like soccer but it talks about the history of latin american and how they came to oregon.
An interesting look into small town sports and small ton bigotry. I really enjoyed the book.
Jul 01, 2010 Jenny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Looking forward to reading this book I just won from GoodReads!
Great story with amazing attention to detail!
Had many different voices. Good read.
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