A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Infrequent strong language: "hell," "damned," "ass,' and one "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.