Furia

Book review by
Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media
Furia Book Poster Image
Argentinian teen's exciting fight to reach her soccer dream.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Lots of detail on playing soccer and professional teams. Discussions of women's issues in Argentina. Some Spanish words and phrases. Information on Argentinian culture and politics.

Positive Messages

Follow your dreams. Work hard. Find people you can share your feelings, hopes, and dreams with. Falling in love doesn't have to mean sacrificing who you are. When you have conflicts with people in your life, talk through them and try to work them out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Camila is a strong, smart, hardworking teen. Her mom and brother are good people who try to do the right thing, but they have a hard time breaking out of the cultural expectations placed on them. Roxana is a good friend to Camila, and even though they have their issues, they work through things. Coach Alicia is a strong role model for Camila and gives her good life advice. Diego creates some confusion and conflict for Camila, but he loves and respects her and tries to help her, even though he doesn't always go about it in the right way. All the characters are Argentinian, and Camila and Roxana are of multiethnic heritage.

Violence

Some collisions and injuries during soccer games. Disappearance and murder of young women happens frequently. Discussions of dangers on the streets for women, especially when out after curfew. Verbal and physical domestic abuse, including one scene with hitting, grabbing, and shoving. Adult friends of family ogle a teen girl in her own home. A man hits a dog.

Sex

Much of the plot involves dating and romance. There's some kissing and making out. A few unmarried young women get pregnant. Some discussion of women who date or marry athletes as a ticket out of poverty.

Language

Infrequent strong language: "hell," "damned," "ass,' and one "s--t."

Consumerism

A few media and brands used for scene setting, including Peugeot, BMW, Jeep, Toyota, Jeep, Nike, Gatorade, YouTube, FaceTime, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few adults seen smoking and drinking in passing.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Furia, by Yamile Saied Méndez, is about Camila Hassan, a teen girl in Argentina who dreams of playing professional soccer. She has to keep this dream a secret because of family expectations and cultural views of women in sports. Things get more complicated when a childhood friend who is a budding international soccer star comes back to the barrio to romance Camila. The story shows how hard it is for people trying to break barriers and how difficult it is for women to balance their professional dreams against family responsibilities. There's some violence, including collisions ans injuries in soccer matches and a few scenes of verbal and physical abuse. The epidemic of missing and murdered women in Argentina figures into the plot. Characters kiss and make out a few times. There's little strong language ("hell," "damned," "ass," and one "s--t"). Adults drink and smoke in passing. Discussion topics include how society treats its young women, trust, and working hard toward a goal. The author is Argentinian American, making this is an "own voices" book and an excellent choice for readers seeking out such stories.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 12-year-old Written byJeanne W. May 16, 2021

Pursuing your dreams in a complex world

I really liked this book. The coming of age story feels real and the obstacles and world Camilla lives in rang true. There is definitely romance and some makin... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 26, 2021

This made me laugh, cry, swoon, scream, and everything in between (in the best possible way).

This book is AMAZING! It definitely needs more hype. It caused a roller coaster of emotions, and I loved how the author didn't let any aspect of the story... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byGymgirl102 January 1, 2021

Great book with good message

This book has a positive message to follow what you like and never let anything, or anyone, stop you from achieving your goals. Has some funny moments in it. Fu... Continue reading

What's the story?

FURIA is the story a girl in Argentina who dreams of playing soccer professionally. In the oppressively male-dominated culture of her Rosario barrio, Camila Hassan finds her joy and freedom on the soccer pitch. She can't tell anyone other than her best friend that's she's on a team because her parents forbid her from playing, but the more her team wins, the harder it is to keep the secret. And the team's becoming a force to be reckoned with, largely due to her intense, skillful play. Camila's home life is rough. Her father is an abusive bully, her brother is struggling to rise in the local soccer league, and her mom is emotionally beaten down by years of verbal abuse. Diego, her brother's best friend, complicates matters when he visits home from playing professionally in Europe and pursues a relationship with her. She can't see a way to make the relationship work with him playing halfway around the world and her pursuing her dream of playing professionally in America. The secrets and stress begin to take their toll on her. She knows at some point she has to live her life in the open, but who can she trust to help her?

Is it any good?

This story of a strong, resilient girl pursuing her dream of playing professional soccer is equal parts moving and exciting. In Furia, author Yamile Saied Méndez brings the game alive while creating indelible characters. Camila's a smart, hardworking girl, but her story shows how women struggle to have it all or are forced to make hard personal choices men often aren't asked to make. In keeping her soccer playing a secret, Camila is dampening down an important part of who she is. She starts to understand her mother better and sees what a lifetime of living under the expectations of others can do to a person. In this way, she grows tremendously as a character.

Méndez does an excellent job of balancing the excitement of the soccer scenes with the romance and family conflict storylines. It never feels like she's trying to cram in too much. The pace is perfect, and Camila's an engaging narrator the reader will be rooting for the whole way through.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the Argentinian barrio setting of Furia affects the story. Do you like stories that show what it's like to live in another country or culture? Do you feel like you learn more about what other people go through in their lives?

  • Camila has to hide much of her life from her family. Do you think she could have found a way from the start to tell her family about her soccer team or about dating? Or do you think in her case it's better to keep those secrets?

  • Do you have any activities you'll sacrifice everything for? Do you think that kind of passion and drive is a blessing or a curse?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports and Latinx characters

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