For Jeff Attinella, the road from the college all-star athlete, to major-league soccer player–and now, children's book author–was long and winding.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper admits he wasn't much of a bookworm growing up.
"My mom used to always tell me, for me to pick up anything that was reading, it had to be sports involved... sports section or Sports Illustrated for kids," Attinella said.
According to Attinella, the birth of his daughter, Remy, changed everything.
Looking for a way to instill in her a love of sports, he picked up a pen and started writing.
The Tampa, Florida native grew up rooting for the Buccaneers, Lightning, as well as the Rays, and although he says he would love to write a children's book about them, there's just one problem.
"I'm ready to write about a Tampa team, they just have to win something," Attinella said.
Instead, he's found inspiration for his books elsewhere. He's written about the king of the Cavaliers, Lebron James, and the 108-year curse of the Chicago Cubs.
Attinella says "The Curse of the Cubs" is his favorite of his four books. And, with the support of his family, he continues to write.
His wife, Kendall says, "He's a dad. He's an author. He's got his priorities straight, I think."
Until recently, Attinella's books were only available online, but now you can find them at your local Safeway store.
Together they're partnering with the Children's Book Bank to ensure kids from low-income households in Portland have access to reading materials. The non-profit distributes 100,000 books each year to kids who can't afford them.
"This is a great opportunity for kids to pick up a book and have something to read because kids can lose a whole reading level over the summer if they're not reading," said Todd Diskin, partnership manager of the Children's Book Bank.
The non-profit will receive one book donation, for each 4-book bundle sold at Safeway.
Attinella has several book-signing events coming up. If you'd like to meet him and pick up a set of his "It Had to be Told" book titles here is a list of his upcoming public appearances:
July 8, 2018 (2-4 p.m.): 2177 NW 185th Ave., Hillsboro, OR 97124
July 13, 2018 (4-6 p.m.): 12032 SE Sunnyside Road, Clackamas, OR 97015
July 19, 2018 (4-6 p.m.): 6901 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97213
July 22, 2018 (2-4 p.m.) :4515 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR 97206
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