Fred Bowen is back with the newest addition to the popular middle grade Fred Bowen Sports Story Series. SOCCER TROPHY MYSTERY comes in at 25th in the series. He’s covered football, basketball, baseball, and now four titles in the soccer realm.

This newest will appeal to kids who would rather be playing sports than reading about them. It’s short length (144 pages) and appealing text layout will convince even the most reluctant reader to give this a go. There’s plenty of on the field action but the missing trophy mystery is the main focus.

Thirteen-year-old twins Aiden and Ava and their good friend Daniel, all avid soccer players, have just learned their county league soccer trophy mysteriously disappeared forty years ago from the town library. It was never recovered. So between games and practices for the town’s soccer championships, the three friends try to solve the case. But will these amateur detectives be able to unravel the mystery and find someone who had both motive and opportunity to commit the crime? And will their teams make it all the way to the championships?

The change to a mystery format works well for young readers, especially those who have never picked up a middle grade book. SOCCER TROPHY MYSTERY also looks at girls in sports and the inequities when compared to boys in past sport’s history. The characters work well together to eventually solve the mystery and it caught me by surprise as to the guilty party.

A bonus in the final pages is a look at “The Real Story” about the disappearance of the original World Cup trophy that was never recovered. If soccer isn’t your sport then choose another Fred Bowen book and dive right in as each title stands alone.

Congratulations on 25 years of Fred Bowen Sports Story Series. That alone is trophy worthy. Keep reading to find out how to enter the 3-book Giveaway.




FRED BOWEN is the author of Peachtree’s popular Fred Bowen Sports Story Series for middle grade readers. A lifelong sports fanatic, he has coached youth league baseball, basketball, and soccer. His kids’ sports column “The Score” appears each week in the KidsPost section of the Washington Post. Bowen lives in Maryland. Visit his website at


This new book is a part of the GIVEAWAY along with these two past titles:

Hardcourt Comeback (2010)

Part of Fred Bowen Sports Story Series

by Fred Bowen

Calling all basketball fans! Return to the court in this action-packed Sports Story Series book from Washington Post KidsPost columnist and author Fred Bowen – perfect for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green.

“Reads like a successful drive to the hoop—quick, purposeful, and effective.” ―Booklist

Brett Carter, the Wildcats’ star forward, is a hotshot on his basketball team—or at least he was. After missing an easy layup shot at the buzzer in one of the most important games of the season, he feels like a total loser. And things only get worse from there…

At his best friend’s birthday party at a rock-climbing center, Brett freezes on the wall. Then he blows an easy question in the American history bee at school. And when he gets back on the court, he can’t get rid of this terrible pounding in his chest. Brett is losing his confidence fast. With the championship game is coming up, can he overcome his fears and play like a “winner” again?

In the afterword, author Fred Bowen shares real stories of well-known players and their hard-fought comebacks.



Discussion Guide:

The Golden Glove (2009)

Part of Fred Bowen Sports Story Series

by Fred Bowen

Ready to hit the baseball diamond? Check out this action-packed Sports Story Series book from Washington Post KidsPost columnist and author Fred Bowen – perfect for fans of Mike Lupica and Tim Green.

Jamie’s lucky glove is the most precious thing in the world to him. He’s spent all winter oiling it while readying his skills for the upcoming season. But what happens when he loses the glove?

After an unsuccessful search and a disappointing first game, Jamie realizes he’s lost much more than his glove. He’s lost confidence. So when he seeks help from the owner of a local sporting goods shop—a former minor league player—the old-timer shares the history of baseball gloves along with a few fielding tips to help improve Jamie’s game. But will it be enough to rebuild his confidence and replace the “luck” his beloved glove gave him?

Author Fred Bowen engages baseball lovers in this relatable story of self-doubt, luck, and facing your fears. In the afterword, readers can learn more about the history of baseball gloves.



Discussion Guide:


“The books in the Fred Bowen Sports Story series are fast-paced, and at just over 100 pages, they’re perfect for reluctant readers…. Young readers will devour these stories, along with their painless lessons, and still have time to join their friends for games.”

School Library Journal

Hardcourt Comeback: “This entry in the Fred Bowen Sports Story series is flush with life lessons about perseverance, dedication, and picking oneself up after a hard knock, not to mention loads of on-court action. It reads like a successful drive to the hoop—quick, purposeful, and effective.”


“Fred Bowen never disappoints. His many action-packed novels speak to the hearts and minds of young sports lovers, and he demonstrates know-how and grace in writing about baseball, basketball, soccer and football.”

Washington Parent Magazine


  • 5 winners will receive a 3-book set from the Fred Bowen Sports Story SeriesSoccer Trophy Mystery, Hardcourt Comeback, and The Golden Glove.
  • US/CA/PR
  • Giveaway ends 9/19 at 11:59pm ET

Enter here where you will be taken to the RAFFLECOPTER entry form.


Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration.

All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to SOCCER TROPHY MYSTERY + Book Blast w/GIVEAWAY

  1. I would have loved these books for my grandsons years ago — hard to find many sport stories then. But, I have great grandsons (eldest 7) and nephews that I will definitely keep in mind when they are old enough. Elio has just started playing soccer, so maybe next summer. They all sound like great stories. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’ll bet your sports-loving students will be crazy about these books. They look like fun. I’m going to pass on the giveaway. Too many books at my house already.

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