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A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2018 | Award-winning illustrator Michael Foreman’s own love of football suffuses this story which perfectly captures the thrill all footballers have of scoring the winning goal. As the new boy in a small local team a young boy dreams that one day he will be out on the pitch and will the strike the winning goal at the World Goal. Full of action and detail, Michael Foreman’s illustrations capture how his youthful dreams and reality merge to create a classic football story. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2018 Square by Mac Barnett A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge A Perfect Day by Lane Smith Gaspard the Fox by Zeb Soanes & James Mayhew Wonder Goal! by Michael Foreman The Sand Dog by Sarah Lean The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell Plantopedia by Adrienne Barman
January 2017 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Losing your way | Running for your life | Finding your feet | 12+ A beautifully bittersweet debut in which a teenage girl discovers a latent talent that shines light on the darkest of times. Fifteen-year-old Wing Jones lives with her mom, her big brother Marcus (a high school sports hero), and her brilliantly portrayed, bickering grandmothers, Chinese LaoLao and Ghanaian Granny Dee. “I can’t blend in but I don't stand out” is how Wing sums up her place in the world, and her insecurities are cruelly exacerbated by the racist prejudice of peers who mock her appearance and mixed race heritage. The family are doing their best to get on with their lives (Wing lost her cop father in a shooting) when a second tragedy strikes. But, in the midst of this agony (“I didn’t know it was possible for a heart to break in so many ways”), Wing is struck by an overwhelming urge to run and discovers that she’s an incredibly talented athlete. It turns out that nurturing this gift - and not blending in - might just be the very thing that gets her family back on track. Set in the run-up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, this is an expansive, heartfelt tale of loss, first love and self-discovery, and readers will truly root for Wing. Highly recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell. ~ Joanne Owen
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 Best-known for his Horrible Histories, Terry Deary has an exceptional ability to bring the past to life. Here, in two short stories with a sporting theme set in the Second World War, he tells how our enemies may not always bee who we think they are! Townie George is evacuated to the country and finds out about class prejudice in wartime England while Hans, growing up in Germany, sees enemies becoming friends in a surprising way on the football field. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+
Interest Age 10-15 Reading Age 6+ A fun football story with a reading age of 6.5. Written by a former football reporter for The Sunday Times - the author knows his subject well. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 10+
Interest Age 9 -14 Reading Age 8+. Perfect for reluctant or struggling readers. This is an action-packed story involving a boy who dreams of being a football pro. Because fiction and non-fiction are interwoven together, it’s likely to attract less keen readers but readers who may have a passion for football. His heroes all have the No. 7 on their shirt. Can he get there too? This book is part of Barrington Stoke’s ‘fyi’ series of gripping stories interwoven with stacks of fun facts. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here. A Dyslexia Friendly title.
Miss Charlotte - the new coach of a children's football team - has some odd methods to prepare them for the big match. She decides to teach them to lose! And to have fun. Incredibly, it seems to work, as the kid who was always useless on the pitch suddenly scores a screamer in practice. But will their hopes of victory be dashed when the ambitious star player decides to join the other team?
In a Nutshell: football – family – fair play Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, but as Bill Shankly said, it’s much more important than that. Noah really needs to play in the Schools World Cup so when he’s suspended – unfairly – from the school team Stevie, his friend and a tactical genius, finds a way round the rules. It’s a classic story of a group of almost no-hopers forming themselves into a real team, with the added bonuses of crooked opponents and Noah’s special motivation. Funny, exciting, really good on the mechanics of the beautiful game and with a great cast of characters, it’s a rewarding read; in fact, in a game of two halves, this book would win both of them. ~ Andrea Reece This is recommended for fans of Frank Cottrell Boyce and Tom Palmer also writes exciting football stories.
The story of a young footballer from Africa who achieves his dream of winning a place at one of the top UK clubs, this short novel is both a satisfying story of hard work, dedication and talent, plus all-important family support, leading to success, but inspires too by the inclusion of pages of information about the real-life heroes of African football, from Roger Milla to Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba. Written to be super-readable, it is action and fact-filled both, a skilful piece of storytelling that will catch the imagination of all young football fans and give them lots to talk about. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of super-readable short fiction by some of the very best children’s authors and illustrators in the UK. Each title has a host of unique accessibility features to offer cracking reads to more children including reluctant and struggling readers and those with dyslexia or visual stress. Here at Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting the best of their new and backlist titles to recommend to you. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
The world’s fastest and best-selling dog Streaker is back going for gold in the town’s Animal Games. Surely he’s a shoe-in? But there’s one problem. Although Streaker is fast, he is also, according to Mum, less obedient than a carrot. Streaker needs some serious training and Trevor has to work hard to get him to stick to the course. In doing so, Trevor and his friend Tina uncover a plot to put their hero in the real Games off his course… It’s a hurtlingly good read for those training to enjoy the Olympics. The Lovereading Comment: A great story which is so fall of belly laughs be sure to be sitting securely so you can't fall over! Jeremy Strong's brilliant books have been responsible for getting more young kids reading thn almost any other. Visit Jeremy Strong's website for more about this hilarious author, including the Krazy Klub fanclub - click here.
Jud is football mad but never seems to get a chance on the pitch. But when Seaburn football team meet their rivals, Jud finally has the chance to step in as goalie. It's a make-or-break moment - can Jud rise to the challenge? A terrific football story from a master storyteller, set in the post-war period. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 7+ Muhammed Ali’s life story provides daily inspiration for a young boy, also called Ali, who takes on the bigger lad who bullies him. The setting for their confrontation is the boxing ring. Barrington Stoke novels are written and produced specifically with reluctant and dyslexic readers in mind and this will be a real page turner for all. Gibbons uses short sentences to tell the story, each one of which directly moves the story on, with no extraneous details. The blow by blow account of young Ali’s fight is gripping, while timelines of Muhammed Ali’s fights intersperse chapters, breaking up the text but also throwing more light on what is happening in the ring. A really effective piece of writing for young readers, particularly boys. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
The second in Chris Hoy’s cycling-with-a-touch-of-magic series sees Fergus and his friends Daisy, Callum and Minnie form their own cycling team, Hercules’ Hopefuls. They may not have brand new bikes, or fancy jerseys like their arch rivals Wallace’s Winners, but they’ve got lots of heart, and sometimes that what counts. It’s a classic children’s sports story, with a fun cast of characters, made even more lively by Fergus’s visits to a magical world, Nevermore. Not only does Fergus learn a lot about teamwork on his magical adventures, there’s also a clue as to the whereabouts of his dad, not seen since Fergus was a baby. A successful mix of pedal-action, friendship and fantasy adventure, this is a very satisfying story for newly confident readers. Clare Elsom’s lively illustrations add to the fun. There are more books in the series to come, and readers might also like Frank Lampard’s football-with-magic series Frankie’s Magic Football. ~ Andrea Reece Emma Matthewson, Editor, Hot Key Books, said: “Sir Chris has already provided a lasting legacy of inspiration to young people with his tremendous list of achievements. What drew me to Flyign Fergus was a genuine warmth and heart to the books and Sir Chris’s clear dedication to the next generation. We can’t wait to see young cyclists across the country enjoy reading about their new hero!”