May 2018 Book of the Month | Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8
Alan Gibbons can pack a great deal of story and power into a short extent and that’s certainly the case with this book. It stars a group of young footballers, two of whom – the most talented – are refugees, only recently invited to play with West Team Celtic. Our main character, Sam, is happy to accept them into the squad but a boy called Jordan resents anyone who is better than him, and does his best to keep them out of the team. The drama of the matches is broken up and balanced via short chapters explaining who refugees are, where they come from, and why – something that makes the book much more than just a sports adventure. For the the final scene, everything comes together and there’s a wonderful demonstration of sport’s ability to unite us all, and even, occasionally, to work miracles.
Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+