Read Arcady's Goal by Eugene Yelchin Ari Fliakos Online


For twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a childrens home after his parents are declared enemies of the Soviet state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunityFor twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a childrens home after his parents are declared enemies of the Soviet state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunity and achieve his goal? Or will he miss his shot?...

Title : Arcady's Goal
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ISBN : 9781427260260
Format Type : Playaway Pre-loaded Audio
Number of Pages : 3 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Arcady's Goal Reviews

  • Brittany
    2019-03-02 20:31

    Read and reviewed for School Library Journal 07/01/2014.After his parents are accused of being enemies of the state, twelve-year-old Arcady who grew up being carted from orphanage to orphanage in Soviet Russia. Although Arcady hasn’t had a great childhood, he is great at soccer. In fact, his soccer skills are his ticket out of the orphanage when soft-hearted schoolteacher-turned-orphanage-inspector, Ivan Ivanych, sees Arcady play on an inspection and decides to adopt him. Believing the inspector is actually recruiting youth players for the Soviet’s greatest team -the Red Army- in disguise, Arcady calls his new benefactor Coach, and treats him like one, always trying to impress Coach with his skills. Ivan lives up to his new title, creating a youth soccer team just for Arcady to play on. Through this team, Arcady finds that he and Coach are more alike than he originally thought, he learns the true colors of the Communist attitude, and he finds his and Ivan’s next ticket out of exile: a tryout for the real Red Army soccer team!In tune with his Newbery Honor book, Breaking Stalin’s Nose, Yelchin is back with quick and easy chapters, stimulating, true-to-life characters, and beautiful, mood-setting illustrations. Although a rough knowledge of Soviet Russia would help readers understand Arcady’s world from the get-go, a forward and author’s note orient readers outright, while readers can also infer from Arcady’s own growing understanding of his country’s situation. This title is a great suggestion for those who enjoy the soccer stories of Matt Christopher, historical fiction, and war stories, who are between 5th and 9th grade.

  • Dolly
    2019-03-03 15:16

    With small pages, a larger font, and many black and white illustrations, some encompassing a two-page spread, this historical fiction story is a fast read. The author wrote and illustrated the book, and his pictures show a wide range of emotions that can help children understand the character's feelings and experiences. The reader is immediately immersed in the desperately world of a Soviet orphanage for children of criminals of the state who were executed. Life there is very difficult and the boys have little to eat. The only entertainment is playing one on one soccer under the watchful eyes of armed guards. Arcady, one of the orphans, is the best soccer player in the facility and is put on display as form of entertainment for inspectors who visit the orphanage. He is subsequently adopted by one of them after displaying his fiery spirit and prowess on the soccer field. But despite having enough food, clothing, love, and attention, he is not able to relax and just be a child. His adoptive father, having lied about his name, his past relationships, and his qualifications, lives in constant fear, too.The tragedies of the Great Purge were terrible, but have not been as publicized as other genocidal acts. Real and potential political rivals of Joseph Stalin were exiled, imprisoned, or executed. Some leaders were executed and erased from photographs in an attempt to remove them from history. Writers, artists, educators and even common citizens were arrested as 'enemies of the people.' Neighbors turned in other neighbors, and fear and distrust reigned.I love that the author shares that the story is based in part on his father and he includes a photo of his father with his teammates on the Red Army Soccer Club in the fit's pages of the book. Despite the heartbreaking nature of the plot, it's a touching story and an age-appropriate way to introduce this part of Soviet history.interesting quotes:"But enemies of the birds would not be birds, most likely. Birds wouldn't do a thing like that to each other. Leave it to people." (p. 87)"" (p.)

  • Linda
    2019-03-22 18:25

    I haven't read a book so quickly in a while, nor have I read a book that I didn't want to end in a long time. This, Arcady's Goal, is such a book. I can't imagine any student not loving the story of Arcady, a young boy, in a children's camp for children of the Soviet Union's enemies. He has only one dream, to play soccer for the communist red team. It's more broadly a story of all the children who were taken from their parents mostly on whim of others, and it's also a story of a kind man who had suffered this outrageous and cruel act because his young wife too was taken because she taught German. The scene when the man frees Arcady and walks him home is breathtakingly poignant, showing Arcady noticing things, "Music from someplace, a woman singing in a pretty voice. A cat is licking its paw. A potted plant. Behind a big glass window, all kinds of bread I've never seen before, sprinkled with salt, with sugar, twisted and rolled and studded with dark shiny things." Remember, this boy Arcady has been in prison since he was in diapers. He's never seen any of this. Much later in a conversation with his new adoptive father, Arcady ask why so many have been taken away. The answer given is that if everything is taken, those fighting will have nothing to lose. (This is in preparation for the war with Germany.) Arcady thinks, "Everyone knows it's easy to fight when you have nothing to lose, but you fight harder when you have something to keep." I also didn't know remember that Eugene Yelchin is an illustrator, and he has added some beautiful black and white sketches to this story. It's a wise book, telling a story that stands by itself as a protest. I loved every bit, and really am sorry it's already finished.

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-03-13 18:35

    Arcady is being raised on the eve of WWII in a brutal orphanage run by an overbearing man he nicknames "Butterball" because his parents were deemed enemies of the state and killed. Food is scarce and punishment is plentiful, but Arcady has skills at playing soccer that set him apart. Hearing the rumor that the inspectors who visit the orphanage are sometimes soccer scouts, Arcady does his best to impress one inspector who does not seem like all the rest. It turns out that the man, Ivan Ivanych, wants to adopt Arcady because his wife left his life before they could have children. Ivan tries to put together a children's soccer team so that Arcady can play, but when the other fathers find out why Arcady was in the orphanage, they kick Ivan off the team as coach and refuse to let Arcady play. When the famous Red Army soccer team is recruiting in a nearby town, the two try everything they can to get a letter signed by the school so that Arcady can try out, but circumstances conspire against them.Strengths: There are few books written about this period in Soviet history, and there are many things that would be useful to learn about this era. This has a nice sports tie in, and the inclusion of a picture of the authors father with a soccer team in the 1940s is a nice touch.Weaknesses: There seems to be a disturbing trend in children's historical fiction to not adequately explain the historical setting for readers who have no prior knowledge. This is a nice story, but students might struggle with making sense of the emotional situations when they don't have the back story of the privations in the setting. I liked this better than Stalin's Nose, but still wanted more historical context.

  • Julia
    2019-03-19 17:26

    In his second book that takes place during the Stalinist-era Soviet Union, Yelchin once again creates a story that really speaks to me. The aftereffects and consequences of what happens to families of "enemies" of the people are briefly discussed at the end of the book. The part that really seemed to stick with me was that "the Communist Party ensured that this trauma would live on even after the demise of Communism. It did so by shattering the families of the enemies of the people." As someone who grew up in Soviet Ukraine and was a Refusenik (and therefore an enemy of the state), I can completely relate to this. The Communist Party tried to destroy my own family. Arcady's Goal is a great and important book for Middle Graders and above, and it explains a piece of not often discussed history in a well-rounded story. It centers around an orphan named Arcady who's parents were enemies of the Communist state, his love of soccer, and what happens when everything Arcady knows so far in his life is flipped on its head.

  • Eric
    2019-02-28 20:40

    This novel is a young adult read. I don't recall how I encounter it but I am glad I did. A simple story that relates life under Stalin (and any totalitarian regime) and its continuing impact that carries over even until today.

  • Julie
    2019-02-27 21:17

    A quick quiet read about a young boy adopted from an orphanage during the Stalin era. Based on the father's story of the author. I found it sad how people were labeled and killed as traitors and how their children were so punished. Sometimes sports can save you!!!!

  • Holland
    2019-03-14 15:12

    I chose Eugene Yelchin's Arcady's Goal because I had read his previous novel Breaking Stalin's Nose and because I am interested in multicultural and international middle grades literature. Arcady is the child of parents who have been labeled "enemies of the state." As such, he lives in a children's home that is little different from a prison camp. His goal? Escape. His means? Soccer. When Arcady is unexpectedly adopted by a single man, his goal comes into focus. It's more achievable and more difficult than he ever thought.With his skillful illustrations and lyrical prose, Yelchin tells Arcady's story in a way that is appealing, wrenching and satisfying. According to a close friend whose family lived through the terrors of the USSR, Yelchin's descriptions of the fear and isolation that controlled people are spot on. His imagery, drawn in both words and pictures, is vivid and meaningful. He has a remarkable ability to weave a coherent story about sports, the politics of the USSR, family and friendship in the space of a single, short novel.As a single adoptive father, I was pleased to read a story that shows this kind of family structure. The frustrations of both Arcady and his new father are well-conceived and portrayed. I also appreciated the effort to keep alive the stories of the USSR. With the rapid changes in the world since the late 1980s, it is too easy to forget the horror that communism unleashed during the late 20th century. As our focus turns to other global issues, civil and political rights must not be forgotten in the stories we tell our children.Arcady's Goal was, in my view, a much more readable and relatable tale than Breaking Stalin's Nose. I would have found it more worth of a Newbery Honor than its predecessor, actually. The book is short enough to be enjoyed by the most reluctant readers but complex enough to satisfy an adult. Teachers who are seeking literatary experiences to expand their students' worldviews will not be disappointed if they turn here.My only objection to the book is that the characters do not ripen as they might in a novel with fewer literary ambitions. This, however, did not spoil my enjoyment of the story and of the folks who people it.

  • CM204
    2019-03-03 13:22

    The people who like soccer should read this book. For the people who hate soccer should still read the book cause the book will change your mind. The book is mainly about Arcady he has an amazing set of soccer skills. He takes kids twice his size and beats the kid 1v1.But one the inspector is actually a soccer coach and the soccer coach is from Red army soccer club. He has a new journey up ahead of him. I recommend the book to the one who likes soccer and that likes drama books.What I don't like is the chapters are too shorts that they are not that much of pictures to know what is going on the story.

  • Maximilian Lee
    2019-02-22 15:10

    I liked this book because I learned that orphanages were really bad in whatever the year was. I also liked this book because I liked the ending because I liked that Arcady finally got to go to the soccer tryout.

  • Mary
    2019-02-27 16:38

    Wonderful book about Russia and orphan children of the state. Archady gets a blessing and a way out from a tender, smart man who has lost his wife.

  • Lori Gibbany
    2019-03-04 18:25

    Great glimpse as soviet Russia. The perfect amount for kids to get an idea how bad life was and how good theirs are.

  • Jill Berry
    2019-03-11 17:21

    Engaging story that helps readers learn about life in the Soviet Union.

  • Marc Dji
    2019-03-18 20:25

    loved it!

  • Kal
    2019-03-17 18:38

    An inspirational story about a young boy with no parents depending on soccer to get him through life.

  • Stephanie Croaning
    2019-03-23 18:27

    Arcady's Goalby Eugene YelchinHenry Holt and Company, 2014ISBN 978-1-62779-291-2 234 pages : illustrations ; 19 cmChapter book, historical fictionYHBA intermediate grade nominee, 2016Interest level: grades 4-8; reading level: 4.4Lexile measure: 6304 out of 5 starsArcady's Goal is a historical fiction novel that is set in Soviet Russia in the time of Stalin. This is not a historical time period that children know much about, so Eugene Yelchin's books are windows into an unknown, but real, world.The book opens with a black and white photograph of a soccer team. The accompanying narrative explains to readers that the photograph is what inspired Yelchin to write Arcady's Goal:Fewer than a dozen photographs of my family survived the turbulent history of the Soviet Union, the country of my birth. The photograph above inspired this book, and it is the one that I most treasure: the Red Army Soccer Club in 1945. The captain of the team is in the middle row, third from the right. He is Arcady Yelchin, my father.Arcady is a 12-year-old boy living in a children's home in Russia. His parents have been declared enemies of the state, and even though the children don't understand what that means, they live with the shame of their parents' actions. Arcady is gifted at playing soccer, and he uses this skill to earn extra bread rations and establish respect in a tough and bleak life.One day some inspectors come to examine the children's home and Arcady and his soccer skills capture the attention of Ivan Ivanych, who comes back to adopt Arcady. Arcady's life after that is about learning to trust and love. The story is suspenseful, exciting, and full of moments of heartbreak and warmth.I listened to the audiobook version, and while it is well done, I would recommend reading the print version. Yelchin's illustrations are expressive and really help to bring the story to life for readers. Teacher's guide from MacmillanTeacher's guide from Indiana Library Federation

  • American Mensa
    2019-03-18 14:18

    When I first received the book Arcady's Goal, by Eugene Yelchin, I was a bit skeptic. I typically do not enjoy books that are too heavily about sports, but I was very pleasantly surprised once I read this book. This story follows a young boy named Acady throughout a short portion of his life, and, although that time may be short, it is filled with enough excitement, sadness, and emotions to make anyone cry. Arcady is a child of the enemy, or in other words, his parents rebelled against Soviet Russia and had him at that time. After their rebellion failed, they were killed, and Arcady was sent to a boy’s home where no mention was ever made of his parents. Arcady didn't even know his parents’ names. The boy’s home Arcady lived in was a very poorly taken care of establishment; he was never taught to read or write. The only thing Acrady was good at was soccer, he was so good in fact that it got him noticed by a man that would change his life forever. 'Ivan Ivanych', as he is known in the book, is an inspector who comes to the boy’s home that Arcady was in at the time. The director of the boy’s home had Arcady showing off his best soccer skills against some giant kids. Arcady was trying his best, and he was doing very well, but he was getting beaten up pretty badly in the process. Ivan gets so upset by this that he makes them stop. Arcady is pretty unsteady, but he won't stop until he either wins this game or passes out. He kicks the ball one final time and ends up hitting the inspector straight in the face. This book has to be in the top 15 books I have ever read, and I have read many books. It has a way of blending the fiction and the non-fiction in a way that makes it seem like everything in this book actually happened. Not only is the historical factor perfectly blended with everything non-historical, the emotional parts are so well written, it’s almost as if I am Arcady and my goal is to be a soccer star.I would recommend this book to anyone age 10 and up; although, most 10 year olds might not be able grasp some of the more complex emotional ideas. I would rate this book 5/5 stars. I think anyone and everyone should read it.Review by Parker K, age 14, Smokey Mountain Mensa

  • McKenzie
    2019-03-05 15:25

    The book Arcady’s Goal by Yelchin takes place in Russia during World War II and follows the life of Arcady who is a young boy who loves soccer and is very good at it. “I score on the go, with the ball in the air, with my back to the goal. I score in all weather. Dirt, mud or ice, I score.” (Yelchin, 1) Arcady was orphaned as an infant by his parents who probably said the wrong thing to the wrong person and found themselves imprisoned. In the beginning of the book, Arcady is told that some soccer coaches are coming to children’s home disguised as home inspectors and if he plays against other boys and wins while they are here he will get two extra bread rations and possibly a chance to play soccer for them. Arcady knows Mr. Butterball (the head of the children’s home) is lying when he says this but Arcady wants the extra rations for himself and the boy he plays against so he does what Mr. Butterball says. When the inspectors arrive, there is one man who does not look like the rest of them and Arcady wonders why he is there. Later that week when Arcady has still not received any extra rations for the boys he beat playing soccer, he decided to go up to Mr. Butterballs office and demand he give him his bread. When he got there however, the man who had seemed out of place was there and he wanted to adopt Arcady. His name was Ivan Ivanych, they signed the papers right then and there and Arcady was off with this stranger he had only met once before. After being adopted we learn that Ivan is not the soccer coach Arcady is hoping for but instead is the dad he has always wanted. Ivan adopted Arcady because he had a similar story to his and his wife really wanted a son. At the end of the book, Ivan takes Arcady to a tryout for the Red Army soccer team but we never find out if he makes the team or not. It leaves the story open ended and up for interpretation which some people either really like or really do not.

  • Libby Bills
    2019-03-01 18:29

    The main Character, Arcady was sent to a children’s home once he was sent away from his parents due to them being labeled as an enemy of the state and his parents were killed. The story takes place in Russia during the time of the Stalinist. The children’s home wasn’t considered a fun place to be what so ever. The guy who ran it “Butter Balls” was a cruel man who made the children work for their living there. Arcady was one to get what he needed through his talent of playing soccer. Arcady was only twelve years old but possessed a great talent of soccer for someone of his age. With his soccer skills, he was able to survive in the children’s home with just extra forms of protection. Butter balls was aware of his talent and would have him play soccer agents the meanest, toughest, rowdiest kids in the home to impress an entertains the inspectors who came to check in. One day a group of inspectors came in, one of them was Ivan Ivanyan, who wasn’t being expected by the headmaster butterballs. Arcady was sent out to play a brutal match of soccer like every time, but little did he know that Ivan was going to decide to come back a week later to adopt Arcady. Ivan adopts Arcady because his wife left before they could have kids. Arcady looks at Ivan like a coach. Ivan told him he was recruiting boys for the “Red Army” soccer team. Which was a very good team to play on for the state, but that wasn’t quite the case. Ivan does end up getting Arcady on a soccer team, but once the fathers of the team find out why Arcady was in the orphanage, he is kicked out. Arcady and Ivan have there ups and downs but they ultimately end up growing together and end up being one another’s family. They ultimately try to get Arcady a spot to actually sign up for trying out fir the Red Army team. That seems to be the struggle, because they can’t get the signature. Ivan risks everything to get him that signature and they head off to Moscow for try outs.

  • Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
    2019-03-02 18:18

    Arcady's Goal by Eugene Yelchin takes place on the eve of WWII in Soviet Russia. Arcady, now twelve, has been raised in orphanages. His parents were taken away when he was a baby as they were accused of being "enemies of the state". Orphanages are the only home he has ever known. The other thing he knows well, though, is soccer. Where he has picked up his mad soccer skills, we will never know, but he dreams of being the next striker for the Red Army soccer team. For now though, he plays one on one soccer with the other boys in the orphanage. He is so good, that they often parade him out when the inspectors come around - to entertain the inspectors and keep them from actually seeing how poorly the boys are treated. It is during one of these inspections that Ivan Ivanych sees Arcady play. Ivan is not really an inspector, but he is interested in adopting - and feels Arcady is the one. Arcady doesn't know anyone who was adopted and thinks Ivan is a soccer recruiter and starts calling him coach. Both of these characters have been wounded and they strive to please each other - Arcady by always trying to impress "Coach" with his soccer skills, and Ivan, by actually creating a soccer team - even though he knows nothing about soccer. Things don't go as planned, though, and Arcady's dream of trying out for the Red Army soccer team seems further away than ever. Somehow these two start to become a family, and maybe that was Arcady's goal all along. There are a lot of other nuances going on with this story as well - the charged atmosphere and the anticipation of war. The prejudice towards the families of the enemy of the people as well as the unjust way that people were accused of being enemies.

  • Courtney Umlauf
    2019-03-18 20:16

    Arcady has grown up in a children's home in Stalin's Russia, after his parents were labeled enemies of the state and presumably killed or imprisoned. His life is one of little food and no comforts, in a home surrounded by a wooden fence topped with barbed wire. But there is one bright spot: Arcady is an incredible soccer player. One day his skills are noticed by an inspector who then adopts Arcady, taking him, for the first time, into a normal home. But no place in Communist Russia can be truly safe. Father and son draw courage from each other as Arcady figures out how to make his way to playing soccer in the big leagues.3.5 stars, but rounded up because it's so important to have books like this available. I can't say I fell in love with any characters, or was engrossed emotionally by the story, but I'd recommend this book anyway. This probably isn't going to be a story that kids will read over and over again, but they will have questions after reading. Why is Arcady in a children's home? What does it mean that his parents are "enemies of the state". What is Communism? I've also read Breaking Stalin's Nose by Yelchin, and felt the same way. They're both wonderful books to read as a class to spur on questions and open the door to talking about a number of important topics. The stories are simple, not too long, with interesting illustrations. For teachers looking for worthwhile books to study in their classrooms, I highly recommend them.

  • Jacquelynn Ruot
    2019-03-22 16:10

    *Spoilers Below*Arcady's Goal is about a boy named Arcady who lives in a children's home. He lives there fighting for his life with all of the other children who have parents that were enemies of the people. This children's home is under the control of an awful man known as butterball to the children. He forces Arcady to play soccer against the meanest, toughest boys when the inspectors come for a visit so the inspectors will be entertained. Butterball wasn't expecting an Ivan to be among those inspectors. Ivan stopped the soccer matches and came back a week later and adopted Arcady. The story continued with Ivan and Arcady getting to know each other not only as friends, but as father and son. Arcady wanted to play soccer so Ivan went through a lot of different risk to help Arcady reach his goal. In the end, they are headed to try out for the big soccer team in Moscow.I rated this story a four because I think it was a really well put together story. It was different than anything I had ever read before. It touched on losing your parents, group homes, adoption, and the issues or problems that may arise between the child and the new family. I think it also shows that even though it may be tough at first, it did work out in the end for the family. I think that children can take a lot from this story. It was also a fast read and captivated me from beginning to end. I didn't want to put the book down.

  • Brittany Creek
    2019-03-15 15:22

    ****SPOLIERS****In the book Arcady's Goal, Arcady lives in a home for children with Butterball, the awful headmater of sorts. Unfortunately for the many children in this home, they are almost never adopted because of past issues their parents have had with enemies that make it difficult to be adopted. Butterball then makes an announcement to Arcady that "inspectors" are coming to watch Arcady play soccer against the meanest and toughest kids. Although it's tough and Arcady gets pretty brutally injured, he manages to conquer the task and win. Ivan Ivanych, an "inspector" then comes to the home and chooses to adopt Arcady. Arcady tells Ivan about his dream is to get to play in Russia's biggest soccer team. However, there are many challenges when attempting to tryout for the team. In the end, Ivan and Arcady become more like a family, which seems to be the greatest goal of all.I rated this book 3 stars because I enjoyed the actual story and the plot a lot. When doing my multigenre project I learned a lot about adoption and the process behind it. I've never been a big soccer person so I didn't relate to that aspect of the book. I liked the story of Arcady though and although I don't think I could use it in classroom with really young children but it would definitely be good for older readers!

  • Kaitlyn Norris
    2019-02-21 19:19

    “Arcady’s Goal” by Eugene Yelchin is about a boy named Arcady who lives in an orphanage under the control of Butterball, the mean headmaster. All of these boys who are at this children’s home are children of “enemies of the people” which basically sets them up to never be adopted. Arcady loves to play soccer and uses his skills to win extra portions of food. Butterball forces Arcady to play against some of the biggest kids in the home when inspectors come so that they can watch them play. During this time, an inspector named Ivan decides that he will adopt Arcady a few weeks later. During Arcady’s time with Ivan, they decide to let Arcady go to the try outs for a big soccer team in Russia called the Red Army. It has always been Arcady’s goal to play in the Red Army but it was hard because of all of the paperwork you need to get in. With the help of a friend, Arcady was able to get a paper to try out!I gave this book 5 stars because it was actually very interesting and I had originally thought otherwise. In the beginning of the book it seems like it will be very historical when it talks about he Soviet Union but it ends up being about Arcady’s dreams and struggles in life and that is what I really enjoyed about it. I would use this is my class to persuade my soccer-loving students to read more!

  • Breanna Ninmer
    2019-03-04 18:36

    At first glance, this book looks like it is about soccer. However, it is so much more than that. Arcady lives in a children's home with a mean headmaster named Butterball. The children who live in this home all had parents who were enemies of the people. Because of this, no one ever comes to adopt them. One day, Butterball announces that inspectors are coming and he wants Arcady to play soccer against the biggest and toughest boys at the home. Arcady gets beat up, but ends up defeating all of his opponents. A week later, one of the inspectors, Ivan Ivanych, shows up at the home and adopts Arcady. As the book progresses, Arcady and Ivan learn to get along. Arcady's biggest dream is to get to play in the Red Army, Russia's number one soccer team. However, there are many setbacks when it comes to actually getting on the team. But in the end, Ivan and Arcady decide to take a chance and go to the tryouts.This book is not at all what I thought it was going to be about. I thought it would be all about soccer, when it was really about what it is like to live in the harsh conditions of an orphanage, what it is like to be adopted, and dealing with prejudices. It is a very insightful book and I enjoyed it.

  • Sharon Lawler
    2019-03-09 15:30

    Twelve year old Arcady has spent his whole life in “orphanages” after his parents are imprisoned, and probably murdered, for allegedly being prisoners of the state. He is surrounded by a other orphans created by Stalinism, vicious guards, and a corrupt administrator. Food is scarce and hardly nutritious, the buildings are barely inhabitable, and trust is something that is never learned. However, the one thing that Arcady has mastered, is how to control a soccer ball, and his one dream is to play on the Red Army team. Naturally, when a group of inspectors arrive, and Arcady is set up to demonstrate his skill, he is sure it is for the team. Things don't end that well in the old Soviet Union, but there is a very positive spin. One of the “soccer coaches” is there to adopt Arcady. However, after years of mental and physical abuse, Arcady suffers from PTSD, and he has a very hard time trusting this benefactor, or believing he is not a real coach. His benefactor also has a backstory. The author's note explains that anyone born in the Soviet Union developed PTSD, and it affects all ages of the nation. As author and illustrator of this middle grade book, Eugene Yelchin delivers a very powerful story about an affliction that was not recognized until recent times.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-13 20:32

    Drawing from some of his own father's experiences in the Soviet Union, the author describes how a talented young soccer player uses his skills to make his life in an orphanage a little bit easier. Arcady, the book's protagonist, is rewarded with extra rations of bread when he wins, and when he catches the eye of one inspector, he wonders if the man could possible be a recruiter for a soccer team. The man, Ivan Ivanych, is not what he seems, and the two realize that they are dealing with similar losses. After all, there is a reason that Arcady was in that orphanage. Over a series of interrelated events, the two form strong bonds, and set out for a try-out with the Red Army Soccer Club. The poignant story is strong here as are the marvelous illustrations that depict greed, fear, determination, and love on the faces of the characters. Young readers will need to have historical context provided in order to understand some of the events that occur here. Still, the book offers readers a glimpse into life under Joseph Stalin. I recommend reading it twice to understand the significance of Aracady's experiences, but I guarantee the book's ending will touch readers. There are so many elements to consider as readers ponder a political regime based on fear and secrecy.

  • Luke Azzarelli
    2019-02-21 14:16

    Arcady is a twelve-year-old orphan who would scores goals for food rations. He is an exceptional soccer player and he used he talents playing soccer in the orphanage. Then one day an inspector named Ivan Ivanych comes to the orphanage to adopt Arcady having seen him on his previous visit. Arcady is fairly skeptical of Ivan, thinking he is a soccer coach and all Arcady wants to do is play for the Red Army Soccer Club. Arcady would later find out that Ivan isn't a coach and the real reason he adopted him. As the book goes on, Ivan and Arcady grow closer together as they face many difficulties, including the struggle to get the letter for Arcady signed to try out for the soccer club and trying lie low and not get too noticed by the community as it could them.I really enjoyed this book and rated it a five star. I liked how the story took a boy in an orphanage with a big dream and gave him a change at achieving it. His dream was to play for the Red Army Soccer Club and he eventually got the opportunity to tryout. I also really liked the character of Arcady. I felt like he was a go-getter and not afraid of obstacles that faced him. I would recommend this book to students interested in soccer and I believe students would really enjoy it.

  • Holly
    2019-03-09 14:34

    By the Newbery Honor winning author, Eugene Yelchin (I still need to read Breaking Stalin's Nose!), Arcady's Goal is a story of human rights, freedom, kindness, family, dreams, and soccer. Arcady was sent to a home/prison for the children of "enemies of the state" while his parents simply vanished into the penal system during Stalin's oppression of Russia. When Ivan Ivanych sees Arcady playing his ferocious game of soccer with the other children, he decides to adopt him. Arcady thinks he is a soccer coach, but he is actually a teacher, and he, too, has lost a family member, his wife, to the cruel government system. Arcady's only goal is to become part of the esteemed Red Army soccer team and is frustrated with Ivan's true story. However, the two begin to understand and love each other, and Arcady's dreams begin to be realized. The audio was excellent, but now I also want to see a hard copy of the book since Yelchin apparently included his own illustrations. A lot is packed into this story, and the author's note at the end is really interesting. I predict students will really like this one!

  • KidsFiction Teton County Library
    2019-03-21 16:28

    TCL CALL #: J YELCHIN EChris’ Rating: 3 StarsArcady survives in a children’s home set up for “enemies of the people” following the Rise of Communist control in Russia. Soccer is his only outlet. Occasionally it wins him extra rations. When an inspection is due the camp manager wants him to play to entertain the inspectors so they will forget to look into how the camp is being run. But one of the inspectors is anything but typical…and might be Arcady’s ticket out of the camp. Could soccer be in his future? Arcady hopes so. He’s good at the game, but needs the chance to prove it…and be accepted despite being a child of the “enemy.”This book is less about soccer and more about the struggles of the people in Russia and the stigma attached to those declared “enemies.” Despite Arcady’s talent he only gets anywhere out of sheer will-power. His time in the camp has not left him trusting and he makes stupid decisions, but sometimes he does them for good reasons. The story ended sooner than expected. A decent story about overcoming challenged and never giving up while working towards a dream you are not allowed to realize. Historical fiction for youth 10-12.