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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is in the "Zonderkidz Biography" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

As a young boy, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite knows he wants to play soccer. Nicknamed Kaká (pronounced ka-KA) by his brother, the Brazilian youth attends soccer training programs and begins to gain the attention of prominent adult leagues. Despite a spine injury he sustains on a water slide that should have left him paralyzed, Kaká goes on to play on some of the world’s most prestigious teams and win the coveted FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2007. Throughout his youth and his soccer career, Kaká remains vocal about his faith in God. Toward the Goal not only tells his story but includes many facts and mini-articles on topics such as Brazil, the history of soccer and the sport’s famous players and clubs.

Christian Beliefs

Kaká grows up in a Christian family and has a sense of being born spiritually at the moment of his baptism at age 12. He actively shares his faith with both his best friend, Marcelo, and his bride-to-be, Caroline. Kaká’s faith in God grows throughout the healing process after his accident, and he feels God has a purpose for him in the midst of his pain. On the field, he often wears T-shirts or bracelets with phrases that read “I believe in Jesus.” Sometimes he has “God is faithful” stitched on his cleats. Kaká also gives God glory in post-game and magazine interviews. He always wants to use his fame as a platform to share Christ. More recently, he expresses an interest in becoming a pastor.

Other Belief Systems

Some doctors attribute Kaká’s healing to luck, though he and his family give the glory to God.

Authority Roles

Kaká’s father, a civil engineer, and his mother, a teacher, are emotionally supportive and financially able to provide opportunities for Kaká to hone his soccer skills. As evangelical Christians, their faith guides their home life. They unofficially adopt a good friend and classmate of Kaká’s because they see his need.

Profanity/Violence

None

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Kaká and his bride tell the media that remaining sexually pure before marriage wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

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