The first book of a new series (Dream Team), Jaz Santos vs The World tells the story of Jasmina, who has formed the Bamrock Stars – a football team for girls! She and the other girls on the team want to prove that they are just as good as the boys and should be taken seriously as real footballers.
Hopefully, this will help her to gain control when other areas of her life feel as though they are falling apart. She’s been in trouble at school, kicked out of dance class and her parents are arguing which has resulted in a house fire and her mum leaving. For Jaz, her life has been turned upside down and she pins her hopes on the team helping her mum to come home.
Can she and the team work together to prove their ability and help Jaz change her life?
The first (and for me, the most important!) there within this book is girl power! Football is so often seen as a ‘male’ sport and a book representing the female side of this sport is something important to get into classrooms. Although not a football fan now, I played it growing up (even going to football camp!) and it makes me so sad when boys – and girls – at school don’t think that it is a sport with room for females. Although this attitude is slowly changing, books like this will help change it further.
I also loved the theme of friendship which runs throughout. Jaz needs to sell the idea to other girls; they are all so different but come together to form a team. As their friendships develop, so does their love of the game. The dynamics are interesting and show the importance of teamwork.
Jaz is an empowering character who shows how you can fight prejudice and discrimination by proving people wrong! Despite her feeling as though it isn’t fair – with this discrimination being aimed at the team from children and adults alike – her passion shines through and demonstrates how important a little determination can be.
Changing attitudes is something we all need to do and books like this will help children see how capable they are of doing just that!
If you like the sound of this book, buy it here.
📚 Book gifted by publisher