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PK's Goal

Psawpaw, a young Karen girl, scores her first goal in a playful and empowering game of futsal.

Photo of Ellie Roscher

Written by

Psawpaw awoke to sounds from the kitchen. She loved her home, alive with commotion. Two grandparents, two parents, two older sisters, two older brothers, and Nala the cat, who loved little Psawpaw best of all. The smell of rice and eggs filled the house.

Boil
Simmer
Pop

"Eat up my love, for strength,” her mom hummed. “For today might be the day.” 

Psawpaw heard a honk and was up, putting her bag over her shoulder. “Bye!” she yelled. She squeezed in the van with her coach and seven girls. She loved her city, bright with color. They glided through the streets. 

Click
Rumble
Zoom

“PK,” her coach caught her eye, “I think today’s the day.”

In the gym, the music was buzzing. Girls fastened their long black hair into ponytails. They adjusted their socks and stretched their ankles, calves, and hips. 

Coach handed out pinnies.

Red
Yellow
Green

“Have fun. Try new things. Make mistakes,” she smiled. “Add some flavor.”  

Five against five. It was time to play futsal. They piled their hands together and shouted, “C-O-U-G-A-R-S!”

Psawpaw loved to run, sweat and play. She felt strong and free. Playfully they pushed, cut, giggled, dribbled, passed and took their shots. Nutmeg. High fives. Fist bumps. She loved her team, rich with creativity. And then, after weeks upon months, just like that, it happened.

Tap
Shoot
Score!

“Goal! PK, you did it!” Her teammates cheered. Today was, indeed, the day. 

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

PK's Goal follows a young Karen girl from her bustling house through her busy city streets to her energizing game of urban futsal where she scores her first goal. The engaging and feel good plot is full of numbers, colors, letters, body parts, sounds, smells and girl power.

Share your suggested book title

PK's Goal

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

Psawpaw awoke to sounds from the kitchen. She loved her home, alive with commotion. Two grandparents, two parents, two older sisters, two older brothers, and Nala the cat, who loved little Psawpaw best of all. The smell of rice and eggs filled the house. Boil Simmer Pop "Eat up my love, for strength,” her mom hummed. “For today might be the day.” Psawpaw heard a honk and was up, putting her bag over her shoulder. “Bye!” she yelled. She squeezed in the van with her coach and seven girls. She loved her city, bright with color. They glided through the streets. Click Rumble Zoom “PK,” her coach caught her eye, “I think today’s the day.” In the gym, the music was buzzing. Girls fastened their long black hair into ponytails. They adjusted their socks and stretched their ankles, calves, and hips. Coach handed out pinnies. Red Yellow Green “Have fun. Try new things. Make mistakes,” she smiled. “Add some flavor.” Five against five. It was time to play futsal. They piled their hands together and shouted, “C-O-U-G-A-R-S!” Psawpaw loved to run, sweat and play. She felt strong and free. Playfully they pushed, cut, giggled, dribbled, passed and took their shots. Nutmeg. High fives. Fist bumps. She loved her team, rich with creativity. And then, after weeks upon months, just like that, it happened. Tap Shoot Score! “Goal! PK, you did it!” Her teammates cheered. Today was, indeed, the day.

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This manuscript uses Tier 1 words (Marzano) that include numbers, colors, smells, sounds, body parts, and letters (PCC's Milestones of Early Literacy Development). It also uses culturally meaningful names and terms like her morning meal (Durden, Escalante and Blitch). The main character is compelling, the setting is urban, and futsal is an exciting and universal activity. It is lyrical, but also straight-forward in its language (Hingston, Picture Books 101).

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

Philadelphia is a wonderful city, alive and diverse. Like Minneapolis, where I live, Philadelphia is home to many refugees and has a strong futsal community. Soccer is a global sport, and more and more immigrant and refugee girls are finding a sense of home in the game.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

The main character, Psawpaw, is a young Karen girl who lives in a multi-generational home in the city. She carpools to futsal with her coach and friends, which is a necessary support intervention for her participation. Together, they drive through the city that she loves to play a lively game with other girls. Futsal is a popular, urban form of soccer that requires less space than an outdoor soccer field. I hope urban caregivers and kids can see themselves in the story and be inspired to dream and play.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

Minnesota

Location: City

Minneapolis

Website URL (optional question)

www.ellieroscher.com

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a feminist, woman, mother, teacher, athlete and coach. My children are two and four, and I read to them every day. I believe in the power of story to shape imaginative play, literacy and learning. My latest book, Play Like a Girl, tells the story of an amazing girls' soccer team in Kenya. I have seen the power of soccer to promote agency in girls and believe in the importance of main characters who are thriving girls of color. I am very involved in the organization Like A Girl that carves out space for immigrant and refugee girls to play futsal. This book is based on my time with those girls and how I see confidence on the futsal court overflowing to the classroom and community in real and lasting ways.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Play Like a Girl (Viva Editions, 2017) How Coffee Saved My Life (Chalice Press, 2009)

Do you have an agent?

  • Yes

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

15 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dan Ruth
Team

The visual identity images you added really help me envision the book even better! They have such great energy and emotion!

Photo of Ellie Roscher
Team

Thank you! I think the visuals could take a lot of different directions and still work to make the words come to life, but I do really like these three as potential moods.

Photo of Shondra M. Quarles
Team

Such a feel good story!

Photo of Ellie Roscher
Team

Thank you, Shondra!

Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

When you put a young girl and not a toddler or infant and use those pictures it defeats the whole aim of the program which is infant and toddlers age 0-3years old. Tweak the manuscript to make it child friendly.

Photo of Ellie Roscher
Team

Thanks, Perlina. The pictures might be misleading. I was imagining the main character to be a young girl, and research shows that you have can the main character be a small step older than the read so they can aspire. Your point is well taken and I will make some shifts.

Photo of Perlina Murray
Team

Great. That is wonderful. Go for it. Yeah.

Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Nice girl empowering story.

But this is the best message ever...
>>Have fun. Try new things. Make mistakes,” she smiled. “Add some flavor."<<

Photo of Ellie Roscher
Team

I agree! Thank you!

Photo of Dan Ruth
Team

That's my favorite line, too!

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Good shot, nice goal. Wonderful story. Very happy mood.

Photo of Ellie Roscher
Team

Thanks!

Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

You are welcome

Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Ellie Roscher  Great to see you joining the Challenge! We noticed your submission is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have your submission included in the Challenge. You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. We're looking forward to seeing your submission in this challenge.

Photo of Ellie Roscher
Team

Thanks!