Review Blog

Jun 19 2012

Zero to hero by Seb Goffe

A and C Black, London, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4081 5560 8
Death match by Andy Croft
A and C Black, London, 2011. ISBN 978 1 4081 4263 9
Wired (series)
(Ages 11+) Recommended. Quick reads. Football.
Zero to hero concerns young Will, a football lunatic who spends many hours perfecting his style. But his local team simply will not look at him, despite their always losing games, because he does not fit their image of what a soccer player should be. But when he finally is taken on he must win the notice of all the other players and the coach before he can prove his worth. This is a neatly resolved tale of not judging a book by its cover, and giving people a go, wrapped up in a story of soccer.
Death match is quite a different story, going back to Kiev in 1942, a city controlled by the Nazis who had stormed through in 1941, killing many, keeping the rest of the citizens imprisoned and hungry. Several boys found that the old Kiev soccer team were working at the local bakery, and hear that they are about to play a team of Germans. When the boys question why they should play against such a team, they respond that they haven't got guns and can beat them in a game, one which will bolster up the townspeople from their gloom. Alongside this story is a sub plot about the resistance and those who work with the Nazis, making this a small gem of a historical novel, being a fascinating tale told against a phenomenal background.
Each of these books is very short, some 60 pages with large clear print and wide margins and a few drawings to break up the pages. Similar to the Lightning Strikes series, these will be eagerly selected by students wanting something quick and easy or a book which aims at their lower literacy level, or to a classroom teacher wanting a set of books to have for their students to fill in spare moments or build a lesson round.
Fran Knight

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