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Arcady's Goal

Review

Arcady's Goal

In much the same style as his 2012 Newbery Honor book BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE, Yelchin brings readers another look at life in Soviet Russia. Arcady has spent most of his life in orphanages for children of enemies of the Soviet state. The memories of his parents are faded and vague. Arcady has had to learn to survive in harsh conditions. Thankfully, he has an incredible gift that has made his survival slightly easier --- he is a virtuoso soccer player and his skills have allowed him to beat everyone he’s ever played against,, no matter their size or number. His ability to score goals on anyone has consistently earned him extra servings of food.
 
Yelchin shoots and scores with the insights he provides into Soviet Russia and the heart-warming story. 
 
None of the children at the orphanages Arcady has lived in have ever expected to be adopted or for their lives to improve. However, Arcady’s life radically and inexplicably changes when one of the inspectors, Ivan Ivanych, decides to adopt him. Arcady assumes that Ivan has selected him for his soccer skills and is reluctant to believe he was chosen for any other reason. However, as Arcady and Ivan get to know each other, they see a future together that neither one believed was possible.
 
Like he did in BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE, Yelchin brings his story further life to through drawings of his characters and scenes. The book I reviewed was an advanced reading copy so the illustrations were not in their final form, but they were still a delightful and powerful addition to the book.
 
The only faults in ARCADY’S GOAL are its predictable plot points at times, and the ease with which all the conflicts are resolved. Still, Yelchin shoots and scores with the insights he provides into Soviet Russia and the heart-warming story. 

Reviewed by Aimee Rogers on October 24, 2014

Arcady's Goal
by Eugene Yelchin

  • Publication Date: October 14, 2014
  • Genres: Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN-10: 0805098445
  • ISBN-13: 9780805098440