Over The Line by Tom Palmer

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Over The Line by Tom Palmer

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Buy Over The Line by Tom Palmer at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A stunning look at the life of Jack Cock who fought in the First World War as a member of the Footballers' Battalion and was the first of the modern professional footballers. It's not exclusively for those with dyslexia but it's as good as a book gets if you do suffer.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1781123935

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Jack Cock made his debut as a professional footballer for Huddersfield Town and that fragile dream of playing for his country came just a little bit closer, but this was just before the beginning of the First World War when there was immense pressure on young men to do the honourable thing and join the war to fight in France. Over the Line is the story of Jack's war, of joining the Footballers' Battalion, playing in the Flanders Cup, fighting in the trenches and not just surviving but being decorated for bravery. After the war, he scored England's first international goal and was one of the first of the modern generation of 'professional footballers'.

Jack's playing duties in the war saved him nothing in terms of having to fight in the trenches and the descriptions are graphic. Tom Palmer doesn't patronise his readers - he assumes that young people of ten plus will be able to deal with the horrors of war. The descriptions are not gratuitously gory but the Great War was particularly vicious in terms of the deaths of young men and many were lucky to simply die quickly and cleanly. Palmer has researched this true story well and it's only lightly fictionalised - I certainly found it educational as well as interesting and well written.

The book has an interest age of 10+ but a reading age of 8. It's dyslexia friendly and printed on off-white paper (which reduces any glare) and which is substantial enough to ensure that there are no shadows from the reverse side of the sheet. The font is one which has been specially developed by Barrington Stoke to make reading as easy as possible and the lines are double spaced. Here at Bookbag, we've encountered many children who don't have dyslexia but who say that reading Barrington Stokes' dyslexia-friendly books is much more of a pleasure than reading other books. For a child who is a reluctant reader, these books can be a turning point and this one, with its sporting background, can help to persuade boys who have otherwise been slow to catch on that reading is fun.

If you'd like to find out more about the themes of this book - football during the war years, the pals' battalions, the home front, medicine and nurses and the forgotten victims have at look at this site developed by Barrington Stoke. There's even video content of Tom Palmer visiting significant locations from the book.

If this book appeals then you should also have a look at Tilly's Promise by Linda Newbery. We can also recommend Wings: Spitfire, also by Tom Palmer.

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Buy Over The Line by Tom Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Over The Line by Tom Palmer at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Over The Line by Tom Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Over The Line by Tom Palmer at Amazon.com.

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