Boys United (Football Academy) by Tom Palmer

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Boys United (Football Academy) by Tom Palmer

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: An enjoyable footballing story for newly confident or reluctant readers.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: April 2009
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 0141324678

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Jake, like many boys, is fanatical about football. He's also very good at it, so his dream of one day becoming a professional player is genuinely realisable. And Jake wants nothing more. He's worried about his height though - is he too small to make it? A trial at United's famous academy for young players will tell him one way or the other...

The Football Academy series is written for emerging or newly confident readers - or those boys just like Jake, who only have time for football, and who approach sedentary dullness such as reading with great reluctance. And they are very successful - every possible footballing box gets a tick, from an accurate picture of life at a major club's academy, through pushy parents and fouling peers, to tactics and the actual playing of the game. Even football rivalries get a shout-out; Jake is a City fan, but he's playing at United's academy.

The prose is brisk and no-nonsense and the vocabulary is carefully chosen to stretch slightly, but not to alienate. Boys United does exactly what it says on the tin - provides a simple story of footballing action that is immediately recognisable to all its readers, is fun, is exciting, is accurate and realistic, and doesn't keep you in for too long when you could be practising penalties in the park with your mates.

And it was absolutely perfect for this reviewer's number two son, who, like Jake, doesn't set that much store by reading, is short for his age, plays on the left wing, and dreams of providing the cross for the winning goal in the World Cup Final.

So thank you, nice people at Puffin, for sending the book!

Young football fans could also look at Runaway Success by S W Parry or The Kick Off by Dan Freedman. Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby will also keep them reading. Billy the Kid by Michael Morpurgo might also appeal. Older, more sophisticated readers will love Exposure by Mal Peet.

Buy Boys United (Football Academy) by Tom Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Boys United (Football Academy) by Tom Palmer at

Buy Boys United (Football Academy) by Tom Palmer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Boys United (Football Academy) by Tom Palmer at


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