Soccer fun

extra timeTITLE = EXTRA TIME

AUTHOR = MORRIS GLEITZMAN

GENRE = SPORT, FAMILY

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7, 8

Matt is a sporting prodigy, able to duck and weave and glide gracefully around a soccer field. His dream was to play professionally but that dream was put on hold after a tragic car accident which killed his brothers and damaged his legs.  He still displays remarkable talent on the soccer field but does his body have the strength to hold up against the rigours of the big league?

Put to the test on a promotional tour in England Matt discovers that training for the big league is not just about the body, it is also about the mind and the soul. Could playing soccer professionally come at a cost … not just to his body but also to his heart, could he lose his love for the game? Or will his little sister, his manager, help him find his way?

A novel about soccer and family, about the joy and business of sport; younger readers are sure to enjoy this fast, entertaining read, especially lovers of football. And to find about more about the great author of this book, why not check out his website here.

Recommended (dma) ***

A novel about footy, fans, grief and life

TITLE = THE WHOLE OF MY WORLD

AUTHOR = NICOLE HAYES

GENRE = FOOTBALL, MYSTERY, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIPS, GRIEF  

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9-11

Shelley Brown is hoping for a fresh start: a new school, new friends, new interests – a new life. Since the loss of her mother, Shelley and her dad are drawing a line between the past and the present, so Shelley jumps at the chance to attend footy training with her new friend, Tara. After all, football has always been Shelley’s passion especially her beloved Glenthorn Football Club. Attending Thursday night training also gives Shelley a chance to befriend the new player, Mick Edwards.

Shelley and Tara are obsessed by their footy team and this novel is cleverly structured to reflect this passion: every chapter and section references the game, from “The Draft” to the “Pre-Season” to “The end-of-season Trip”. And the plot unfolds cleverly too: whilst most readers will accept Shelley’s lingering grief at losing her mother, midway through the novel the full story behind Shelley’s loss is revealed so we understand more fully the deep pain behind her journey of rebirth.

In a sports mad country like Australia it is intriguing to shine a light on that obsession:  the euphoria of the fans when their team wins, the despair when they lose and the relationship they have with the players themselves. However, this is more than just a football yarn; set against the football background is a bigger story about grief and loss, about family ties and family breakdown, of burgeoning love and the resilience needed not only to face another football season but also to face life’s many ups and downs.

Even those who don’t love football will find a lot to enjoy in Shelley Brown’s world.

This book has been Longlisted for the 2014 Gold Inky Award. 

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

When dreams and footy merge

TITLE = TYGER, TYGER

AUTHOR = MICHAEL HYDE

GENRE = FOOTBALL, GROWING UP, FAMILY

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10, 11

Johnny Carbonne is feeling the pressure. Johnny has been promoted to the Seniors in the same club where his father played. Johnny’s dad (Sam) was a great footy player and is well remembered by the old timers in the club, including the coach. But Sam died in his prime, when Johnny was only 7, so Johnny feels the weight of is heritage. On top of this he is not playing well at the minute, a footy scout is interested in watching him play and then, to top it all off, he gets injured.

When dreams start disturbing his sleep, it seems a good time for Johnny to head down to Tassis to visit his grandparents and see the site where his father died. Will the trip south provide him with answers or just up the ante even further?

A compelling book about footy, families and tradition.

Recommended (dma) ****