Golden Game

by David Starr

Abbas and his soccer team of fellow refugees are playing in a big tournament. When a traffic accident triggers crippling flashbacks to war-torn Syria, Abbas perseveres to support his teammates through the competition.

Abbas is a Syrian refugee and a striker on a junior high soccer team of refugee and immigrant players. He is excited when his team is sponsored to play a big tournament, where he can reconnect with a friend from Syria. But a traffic accident triggers Abbas to experience anxiety and flashbacks to the violence in Syria. He finds ways to conquer his flashbacks and anxiety before the big tournament and also helps his whole team deal with the pressure of the competition.

Golden Game is one of four books that offer readers insight into the experiences of refugee youth as they adjust to life in North America.

About the Author

David Starr
DAVID STARR is the principal of Byrne Creek Community School in Burnaby, BC. David is the author of several other fiction and non-fiction books and has spoken nationally and internationally on community and refugee education.


"This is an upbeat story in spite of the PTSD, and it is treated realistically."
Margaret Burrie, Reviewer, NetGalley
"In David Starr and Dirk McLean's new Soccer United: Team Refugee series for reluctant middle-grade readers, kids are given insight into the lives of other kids from war-torn countries through the lens of a sport nearly all of them are familiar with: soccer is now the third-most played team sport in the U.S., ahead of even the game we call 'football.'"
Keir Graff, Booklist Reader
"Starr relays Abbas's issues with a subtlety that perfectly fits the gentle tone while still communicating how shockingly commonplace violence was in Syria ... The book has no antagonists yet still succeeds as a drama, letting Abbas conquer his fears before, naturally, conquering the opposing teams."
Daniel Kraus, Booklist


CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Subjects (BISAC)


Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top