I've been playing soccer since I was three. Pretty much my whole life. Soccer is one of the most important things in the world to me.

Photo courtesy of Tikeh's famly

Tikeh Tazeh | New Glarus, WI

I also love to read, so I decided to put these two things together and write a book. I am twelve years old now, but I’ve been writing books since I was five. Mostly fanfiction for Harry Potter and Star Wars because I’m a big fan of those books. But I’ve also written about hockey and football.  So, I already knew how to write a book, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided I was actually going to write a book about soccer and publish it.

My family moved to New Glarus a few years ago, so I had to move to a new soccer team with a new coach, new teammates, new everything. That is what my book is about. It’s called Hat Trick and it’s about a twelve year-old named Gabe Carson who moves to Dearborn, Michigan and he has to play on this new soccer team. Some of his teammates don’t like him and there’s a really tough new coach. Gabe has to get used to everything, but then he gets injured really bad and has to stop playing for a long time. He has to find a way to be a part of the team without playing. Over the course of the book, he realizes that being a good teammate isn’t just about scoring goals, it’s also about being a good friend. That’s what being a good teammate is to me. You never give up on your team, even if it is in your team’s darkest hour. Even if you’re losing all your games, you never give up. You are always being positive. Always trying to help your teammates because they are your brothers.

It took me a month to finish Hat Trick,  I wrote every single day. I was determined to get it done, but I also really wanted to make sure I took enough time to get everything the way I wanted it to be. My family got involved in the editing process and it was amazing. My older brother Kiehmi, he’s fourteen, has been helping me ever since I wrote those fanfiction books. He always edited them because I make a lot of mistakeshe was a huge part of the process of writing Hat Trick. And then after the book was published, my mom helped get the word out and market it. She was the one who reached out and got it into libraries. I never expected it to go further than New Glarus libraries, let alone statewide. I have my whole family to thank for everything.

After my book was put in libraries, I got invited to a zoom meeting with people from Madison Public Library. I only expected to meet with them to talk about my book. I had no clue that I’d get to meet the captain and the head coach of Forward Madison Football Club. It was so exciting to talk with a real football coach and a real professional soccer player. We talked about favorite players and favorite game moments. It was amazing and I am going to remember that forever. It is so exciting that other people are reading my book. It’s really nice to spread my love of soccer and know that people are interested in reading about a young kid who loves to play.

When the pandemic started there were a lot of things I was worrying about, but the one thing that I was thinking was “Am I still gonna be able to play soccer?” I was just counting down the days until I got to play soccer again. I am playing now and I’m really excited.

The biggest lesson I learned in quarantine is to appreciate what I have and not take it for granted. Before quarantine I took a lot for granted, but since things have been so limited, I’ve really understood how good we have it.

I am working on a sequel. Even though I love soccer and it is my favorite thing in the world, American football is also a huge part of my childhood. Ever since I was a baby, my dad has really instilled a love of football in me. So I am writing my second book about football. It’s going to be titled The Fourth Quarter. I’ve actually finished it already and it will be released this June. It is still about Gabe Carson, but his principal makes him play on the football team instead of the soccer team. Just as in Hat Trick the season doesn’t go as he expected, and there’s a lot of challenges that he has to overcome. Once again Gabe’s learning that there’s a lot more to the sport than just the game. I am really excited about my sequel. 

Tikeh’s story was produced by Ma’iingan Wolf. You can learn more about his books here. 

Tikeh and his family in their home in New Glarus

Madison Public Library invited members of Forward Madison FC (a United Soccer League member) to join their interview with Tikeh Tazeh about Hat Trick.

 

Check out our TikTok video of Tikeh and Hat Trick. You can follow us on TikTok @lovewisconsin. 

 

 

 

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