|Football Crazy by Tony Bradman and Michael Broad|
|Category: Dyslexia Friendly|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: A wonderful book for any child who plays organised sport. But as good as this is for the children - it should be required reading for a coaching licence.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 60||Date: August 2013|
|Publisher: Barrington Stoke|
|External links: Author's website|
Football Crazy is about a group of friends who play on the worst team in the league. It can be difficult when your team loses every time you go on the pitch, but Danny, Jamil and Lewis love the sport and they stick with it - win or lose. They keep hoping the next game will be the game in which they finally win, or at least get on the scoreboard, but it never happens - not as long as Mr Perkins is coaching. When the coach finally packs it in - it looks like curtains for Rovers FC. But, luck seems to be on the children's side when a new coach, Jock Ramsay, with some history in the pro leagues is found. The new coach is tough, but he quickly gets the team into shape and the Rovers start climbing the league tables. Parents are delighted, the stands are full, but the children find they no longer love the sport. Everything is about winning. Things come to crisis point when Coach Ramsay orders Danny to take a dive.
Football Crazy doesn't seem like fiction at all. I'm afraid I've seen the same drama with minor variations played out time and time again when I was younger and involved in team sports myself. Yes, all children do want to win, but it is the adults who take it to the extreme. The children in this book really learn what sportsmanship is all about as they find the courage to face up to an adult in authority. They are never rude or impolite, but this is the kind of courage I wish I had seen a bit more of on the playing fields, and something any parent should be very proud of. My own child is fortunate to have an excellent set of coaches and youth leaders, but he could still relate to the boys in the story, and understand how difficult it must have been for them. It was good opportunity to discuss the fact that if a child feels something an adult is asking them to do is wrong - they should always come to their parents for advice - I just wish I could get all the parents to read this book as well.
Football Crazy is part of Barrington Stoke's line of books written specifically for children with dyslexia. These books follow all of the guidelines of the British Dyslexia Association for dyslexia-friendly text. Working with a team of experts in the field, Barrington Stoke have developed their own font which is especially designed to make reading as easy as possible for children with dyslexia. They also print all of their books on a thick, off white, non-glare paper to minimise distractions which can make reading more difficult. The print is large and double spaced, with short chapters and short stories created to build confidence. The stories are commissioned by Barrington Stoke, usually from very well known authors, and are written to appeal to older children, with a high interest level but a low reading level.
Barrington Stoke also has some of the best stories we have come across for older children. These are books you just cannot put down. My own child does not suffer from dyslexia, but he has commented on how much easier it is to read the books with this style of print. The double spacing and frequent breaks mean he does not lose his place in the book, and makes reading a far more enjoyable experience. These books can literally be life changing for a child who is struggling to learn to read, but they make reading easier for all young children, whether they have disabilities or not.
Football Crazy is listed as reading age of 8+ and an interest age of 8 - 12. I can't really agree with either assessment. This is a short, easy to read story with plenty of cheerful illustrations as well. I feel most 7 year old children would be able to tackle this with ease. As to interest age - I would recommend this for any child who has started or is about to start competitive sports, regardless of age. I would also recommend it for any parent whose child is involved in competitive sports. It's all too easy to cheer when our children are winning - but they need us to cheer when they lose as well. This book has an incredible moral to the story for all ages.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Football Crazy by Tony Bradman and Michael Broad at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Football Crazy by Tony Bradman and Michael Broad at Amazon.com.
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Tony Bradman said:
Thanks for the great review - it's always nice to get a good review, but it's even better when the reviewer clearly understands what you're trying to get at!