Ivan and the Hidden Bible

by Myrna Grant
Series: Ivan 4
Reviewed date: 2021 Dec 14
122 pages
cover art

Another good story about Ivan growing up in the Soviet Union. This time he searches for the family Bible, which his grandfather hid before he was taken to the camps in 1933. A school trip to the collectivist farm (which is on land stolen from his grandfather) provides Ivan and his sister Katya an opportunity to search for the Bible.

It's a good story, but I wonder if author Myrna Grant has ever seen a soccer game? Here's a game between Ivan's team (the Lenin collective) and a team from another collective.

"The Lenin team seemed flustered and began chasing the ball rather than guarding. Points mounted up against them with alarming ease."

There are no points in soccer. They are called goals.

"He groaned as the visiting team gained another goal. The score was now 7 to 31."

Seven to 31? In a soccer game? I don't think so. Anyway, at this point, due to an injury to their star forward, Ivan is sent into the game to play forward. He dominates and his team quickly takes the lead.

"Points for the Lenin team mounted. The visiting team seemed to rally by the fourth quarter."

Quarters in a soccer game? Traditionally they are played in two halves, not four quarters. OK then.

"With a burst of speed [Ivan] raced to the ball as the other team passed it to a forward. Ivan was easily ahead and reached the ball in time to give it a mighty kick. All the hurts of the day seemed to explode in the power of his kick. The ball shot into the visitors' net with such speed the goalie didn't see it until it was too late."

So let me get this straight. The visiting team passed it to their forward, so presumably the ball is on one side of the field. Ivan, despite playing forward, is far enough back that he can intercept the pass? No. And then with one mighty kick he drives the ball all the way across to the other side of the field and into the other goal? Unlikely. And he does it so quickly the opposing goalie doesn't see it coming? Not humanly possible.

To make this work, we could change this to an indoor soccer game. Those are sometimes divided into quarters, and amateur indoor games probably have higher scoring, so a score in the 30s is conceivable. Not likely, but concievable. The smaller field makes Ivan's game-winning cross-field goal at least possible. So that's it. It must be an indoor match.

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