Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Female athletes have finally been getting more notice, from movements for equal pay to fans following their achievements. And female soccer players, including the women of U.S. soccer, have been leaders among them. 

When we appreciate both women’s and men’s professional sports, we teach our children to value them and support all our kids to dream big—plus, we gain double the fun in terms of games and events to watch. For little soccer players and budding fans of the stars in the Women’s World Cup, picture books about female soccer players are a great fit. These empowering books not only inspire young minds but also foster a deep appreciation for the achievements and determination of women in the world of soccer.

So, whether you have a young soccer aficionado, a future champion in the making, or simply a child that loves great stories, this curated book list is designed to captivate their imaginations and leave a lasting impression. Use these books to celebrate the achievements of female athletes and, hopefully, create a generation of children who believe that they, too, can achieve greatness on and off the field.

World Cup Women: Megan, Alex, and the Team USA Soccer Champs

By Meg Walters, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith

If you’re ready to get your child hyped about women’s soccer, look no further. This book celebrates the significance of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in American sports history. It highlights the incredible achievements and inspiring journeys of the team’s talented players, showcasing their dedication, skill, and passion for the game. With engaging storytelling and vibrant illustrations, World Cup Women emphasizes the value of gender equality, teamwork, and determination. It educates young readers about the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s impact on the world stage and illustrates how a small group of people can make a massive difference.


Winners Never Quit!

By Mia Hamm, illustrated by Carol Thompson

When I was growing up in the nineties, no female athlete was more popular than Mia Hamm. A two-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer and founding member of the first-ever professional women’s soccer team in the United States, she was seen as proof positive of girl power in sports. (I mean, remember her commercials with Michael Jordan? She was just so cool!) Now, Mia Hamm has done it again, by writing a children’s book that recounts the story of a young soccer enthusiast who encounters challenges on her journey to becoming a skilled player. With relatable characters and engaging storytelling, Winners Never Quit teaches valuable life lessons about resilience, teamwork, and the importance of never giving up. This book motivates young readers to understand that true winners are those who persevere.


Yasmin the Soccer Star

By Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly

I love the Yasmin series. It’s a fabulous collection of early reader books that follow the spirited adventures of a young Pakistani American girl with a zest for life. In this particular story, Yasmin is nervous about joining a soccer team. As she navigates challenges, she discovers the value of teamwork, perseverance, and self-belief. This book beautifully combines cultural diversity with relatable themes, making it an excellent choice for children in elementary school. Additionally, author Saadia Faruqi includes a Pakistani-English dictionary in each of the Yasmin books, as well as activities that you and your child can do together!


Happy Like Soccer

By Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Lauren Castillo

This is a book any busy adult who loves a child can relate to. It’s a heartwarming tale that follows the story of Sierra, a young girl with a deep passion for soccer. Set in a close-knit community, the tale highlights the vital role of Sierra’s loving and supportive family, particularly her aunt. The aunt must work on Saturdays and can’t attend Sierra’s games, but she still encourages Sierra with unwavering support as she faces various challenges. In return, Sierra supports her aunt by trying to make sure her games won’t conflict with her aunt’s work schedule. Happy Like Soccer emphasizes the importance of family bonds, resilience, and the transformative power of nurturing environments.


Maria Finds Courage

By Tony and Lauren Dungy, illustrated by Guy Wolek

It’s fair to say that a former NFL player and coach knows a thing or two about sports and not giving up. And you can definitely see that knowledge in this book by NFL veteran Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren. It’s a simple yet strong story with soccer at the center. A character named Maria has just moved to a new town and is navigating the challenges of entering a new school. Her parents sign her up for soccer, but she’s never played and soccer seems daunting. Maria Finds Courage is about stepping outside our comfort zones and trying new things, demonstrating that we can’t truly know if we’ll enjoy something until we give it a chance. This story will encourage elementary school-age children to embrace new experiences and approach life with open minds.


Mina vs. the Monsoon

By Rukhsanna Guidroz, illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta

I bet you’ve been stuck inside on a rainy day with your kids. And you’ve heard those inevitable words: “I’m bored!” Well, your child will absolutely relate to Mina, a young girl in Bangladesh who loves soccer more than anything but has to stop playing when the monsoon season starts. Determined to reunite with her beloved sport, Mina embarks on a mission to chase away the clouds and bring back the sunshine. Through colorful illustrations and engaging storytelling, the book shows that things may not always be exactly as they seem.


Courage in Her Cleats: The Story of Soccer Star Abby Wambach

By Kim Chaffee, illustrated by Alexandra Badiu

An inspiring children’s book, Courage in Her Cleats tells the remarkable story of renowned American soccer player, Abby Wambach. The book showcases Wambach’s journey, from her early days playing to becoming a celebrated star. It emphasizes her determination, dedication, and the challenges she overcame to achieve success. This is a strong pick for a motivating read that will encourage kids to believe in themselves, pursue their passions, and understand the power of resilience and hard work for reaching their goals.


Megan Rapinoe (Little People, Big Dreams)

By Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, illustrated by Paulina Morgan

Last, but definitely not least, no list of picture books about female soccer players would be complete without Megan Rapinoe! This picture-book biography tells the story of her early passion for soccer and her rise as a global sports icon. Along the way, it highlights her activism for equality, inclusivity, and social justice both on and off the field. The story not only celebrates Rapinoe’s remarkable achievements as an athlete, but also encourages children to stand up for what they believe in, embrace diversity, and use their voices to create positive change. After reading this book, you may find your child begging for a soccer ball and purple hair!


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