LUBBOCK, Texas — At 11 years old, João or John Sganzerla said he would have never imagined being a published author. After moving from Brazil to Lubbock two years ago, he picked up English as his second language, Portuguese being his first. 

Now, the Lubbock-Cooper middle schooler’s book is sold online for everyone to read, and he said he couldn’t be more excited.

“I feel happy because it was a hard job for me making it, making the images, the text, and making the story and I feel very proud of myself,” Sganzerla said. “I never thought I would make something like that ever. So, it really means a lot to me.”

João said his book, Unstoppable United: The Start, is a fiction book based on a soccer team with superpowers created by a mad scientist. 

Each team member possesses unique abilities such as fire, wind and even robots on the team, dominating the soccer world and taking on mysteries, adventures and obstacles. 

“One of the problems is facing a zombie team and adventure by surviving a plane crash in the Amazon and saving all the passengers,” Sganzerla said about one of the many obstacles his characters face.

An entire book takes a lot of time and attention to detail. Sganzerla relied on support from his parents to get his book finished.

“My dad helped me with the story and everything, and he helped me publish the book,” Sganzerla said. “My mom really supported me when I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. She said no, you really believe in yourself so you can do it.”

Sganzerla also thanked one of his teachers who he said had a big impact on his writing.

“I want to give a shout-out to my English teacher, who was the same from fourth grade and fifth grade, Miss Goodwin,” Sganzerla said. “She really helped me learn English and write and read, that was one of the reasons I wrote the book.”

Sganzerla said he hopes kids realize just because they’re young, doesn’t mean they can’t accomplish their dreams at a young age. 

“I think if you have something that you really like, you should just trust yourself, put in the work and try, try it, don’t wait till you become older, try now,” Sganzerla said.

Sganzerla has sold 120 copies of his book so far. His book is available on Amazon and Kindle. 

Unstoppable United can be found here.