A Portland Timbers goalkeeper dropped by Gresham on Tuesday evening, Aug. 27, for a reading and signing of his latest children's book.
Jeff Attinella, known for his net tending with Portland's Major League Soccer club, read from "The Great Space Race," his latest children's book. The event was hosted by Maggie Mae's Kids Bookshop, 43 N.W. Third St.
"We love getting out into the community," Attinella said. "I was glad to be able to find time to visit Gresham in between traveling for the (soccer) season."
Three years ago, Attinella had the idea of writing sports nonfiction books. He discovered a love for writing during college, but the birth of his daughter in 2016 was the push he needed. Around that same time was the historic World Series victory by the Chicago Cubs — which was the focus of his first book.
"Not many children's books tell these stories," Attinella said. "I started thinking like a dad and what my daughter would like to read at bedtime."
"The Great Space Race" is Attinella's fifth book. It takes the space race and focuses on the competition between the United States and Russia to make it to the moon.
"It's the biggest race that has ever taken place," he said.
The book, which is filled with illustrations, removes the political aspects of the story and focuses on the achievements of both space programs. In the back, are several pages of facts and information letting readers learn more about the spaceships and equipment.
Attinella writes the stories, and his wife manages the business side of things. The latest book took about three months to put together.
Youngsters who attended the reading were excited to meet Attinella. Many wore Timbers gear, and asked questions about his soccer and writing careers. Attinella rang the storytime bell to kick things off — a tradition at Maggie Mae's — and belted out the group storytime song with the kids before reading his book.
"Thank you all so much for coming — it's all a little overwhelming," Attinella said.
As he was signing books and chatting after the reading, one fan had a glowing review.
"I like how you write," said 8-year-old Chloe Hammond to a beaming Attinella.
If you want to pick up a copy of "The Great Space Race," visit Maggie Mae's.
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