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A gritty, gorgeously life-affirming tale of twins fighting epic odds, anxieties and tragedy to flourish in their respective sports and as young adults.
February 2020 Book of the Month
This gripping must-read for sports fans fizzes with a powerful message about picking yourself up and self-belief, and a poignant portrayal of gang culture coercion. I cannot praise Dan Freeman’s compassion-rich writing enough.
Life’s not easy for twin fourteen-year-olds Kaine and Roxy growing up on their London estate. Their dad’s lost his job and mum works all hours. But Roxy and Kaine aren’t your average teenagers. He’s a super-talented footballer with Premier League potential, and she’s an outstanding tennis player, tipped for the top. Oh, and they can’t stand each other. After being close as kids, they’ve grown apart, with Roxy loathing the fact that Kaine’s always in trouble, and Kaine hating the way Roxy gets all the attention and support, overlooked even when a scout for a Premier League club comes to watch him. Both a bundle of frustration, Kaine is tempted into dangerous territory. If only Mamma, their Barbados-born grandmother, was around to keep Kaine on the right track. Mamma’s warm, wise presence is felt throughout the novel. She was the person Kaine turned to in times of need. She’d feed him soul food, remind him that he’s special, urge him to “do the extraordinary.” Sage advice comes from Kaine’s supportive PE teacher too, who counsels “There are paths in life, there are choices. And you are at one of those crossroads now”.
When tragedy strikes as Kaine loses his way it takes a whole lot of soul-searching for him to turns things round and become the extraordinary young man he is. And Roxy tackles her profoundly life-changing situation with heartrending courage too. With overriding messages of hope, compassion, doing the right thing and staying true to yourself, this is an absolute galáctico, Grand Slam winner of a novel.
“I’m gonna do something with my life, be someone. People gonna know my name.”
Fourteen-year-old twins, Roxy and Kaine, have only one thing in common. They HATE each other. Kaine is loud, brash and brilliant at football. Roxy is heading for tennis superstardom. When tragedy strikes, their worlds are ripped apart. Can they come together before it's too late?
'A thrilling page-turner about the causes of knife crime while offering solutions and hope.' The Times' Children's Book of the Week
'This highly charged story of complex family relationships, misplaced loyalty and finding strength to overcome devastating disappointment will appeal especially to sports fans but is also a cracking read for anyone who likes a well-told, engaging narrative.' Book Trust
'It's very, very good.' Alan Shearer
'Brilliant. If you know a boy or girl aged 10-14ish, they will laugh. Cry. And more importantly...think.' Alex Stone, FIFA
'An excellent read which deals with the subject of knife crime in a sensitive and realistic manner.' Patrick Green, CEO The Ben Kinsella Trust
'Unstoppable touches every aspect of a teenager's journey within elite sport. It's a must-read for all Academy managers, coaches and scouts. I would also highly recommend it to young players hoping to make it in the professional game, as well as their parents.' Les Reed, Technical Director, The Football Association
'This book feels very authentic. I would be particularly recommending this to those who have fallen away a bit from reading because they don't identify with characters in other books. I think so many will identify with these...a very strong book and one that is a blast of the voice of youth.' Dawn Finch, Children's Writers and Illustrators Group
'A must-read story for all sporty kids in Year 6 and above. I'd also recommend it to coaches, teachers and parents interested in the mindset, challenges and development of top young athletes.' Sarah Cecil, sports psychologist at the English Institute of Sport
'My 13-year-old daughter and I loved your book, Dan. Couldn't put it down. Gripping and thought-provoking.' Tanya Motie, BBC Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group
'Compelling reading.' Armadillo Magazine
|Publication date:||6th February 2020|
|Publisher:||David Fickling Books|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, Family / Home Stories, General Fiction, Thrillers|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month, Reluctant Readers, Star Books|
Dan Freedman is best known for his hugely popular series of Jamie Johnson football novels (Scholastic UK) which have been adapted for TV by the BBC and have sold more than 700,000 copies worldwide. Before becoming an author, Dan worked with the England football team, travelling with them to two World Cups. Dan has made over 2000 school visits during the last ten years and it was those experiences that inspired him to write Unstoppable.More About Dan Freedman