Ten Thousand Tries (MP3 CD)
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Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni is determined to channel his hero, soccer superstar Lionel Messi, and become captain of his soccer team and master of his eighth grade universe... especially since his home universe is spiraling out of orbit. Off the field, Golden's dad, once a pro soccer player himself, is now battling ALS, a disease that attacks his muscles, leaving him less and less physically able to control his body every day. And while Mom says there's no cure, Golden is convinced that his dad can beat this, just like any opponent. They just have to try. Golden knows that to perfect a skill you have to put ten thousand tries in, so he's convinced that if he can put that much effort in, on and off the field, he can stop everything from changing. But when his dad continues to decline and his constant pushing starts to alienate his friends and team, Golden is forced to confront the idea that being master of your universe might not mean being in control of everything. What if it means letting go of the things you can't control so you can do the most good for the things you can?