Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby

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Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Third in the series of novelisations of the box office hit films. This one follows the hero through to the 2010 World Cup. It's great fun, name drops like crazy, and is perfect for the football fan and reluctant reader alike.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: March 2008
Publisher: Corgi Children's
ISBN: 055255409X

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Santiago Munez is back in England playing for the Magpies. His eye is on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and he's decided to play for Spain, not Mexico. Things are going pretty well for Santi at home too; he's married to Roz and their daughter is now three. His younger half-brother Enrique has made it into Newcastle's youth programme, and he's showing a great deal of promise.

But the course of any true love, including football, never runs smooth. Disaster strikes Santi in an international warm-up match, and Enrique shows a disturbing lack of temper-control and has some trouble settling into his new life in England. And there's also the little matter of a domestic football league to think of...

They're touting these Goal! books as a sure-fire way to get reluctant boys to read. And they aren't wrong. My fiction-phobic younger son made it to page 100 on his first evening with this one, and I promise you that is absolutely unheard of, despite his reviewer mother's best efforts. They're light and easy to read, they name drop like crazy, and there is football action aplenty, from training ground arguments to penalty shoot outs. So they do tick all the boxes. They also have a great energy and enthusiasm about them, which in turn taps straight into the energy and enthusiasm so many boys - including Murphy Son No 2 - have for the sport. Even I enjoyed it, especially when John Terry strode forward like a giant, much to my rather snobbish chagrin.

We do get the fouls and the rows, but, thank heavens, we don't get some of the other more unsavoury aspects of star footballers. Santi is a very grounded chap, and his wife Roz is a nurse, not a WAG. In this instalment, Enrique provides the identifying adolescent figure. His conflicts may be centred on football, but they're on an emotional landscape immediately recognisable to any readers.

It's not serious or heavyweight stuff. It's light escapist fiction and it's very undemanding, but it will get them reading, so good for Goal! and Robert Rigby for that.

My thanks to the nice people at Corgi for sending the book.

Exposure by Mal Peet is for the much more sophisticated reader, but sings beautifully as it talks about football. The Kick Off by Dan Freedman is also good for reluctant readers, and follows Jamie Johnson in his quest to be a footballer. Billy the Kid by Michael Morpurgo talks about war and football in days gone by.

Buy Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Goal! Glory Days by Robert Rigby at Amazon.com.


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