19/01/2010

The Number 7 Shirt by Alan Gibbons - Barrington Stoke Book 3

The author Alan Gibbons, who writes for Barrington Stoke supported us at our Reading Leaders event in December, he was great speaker and signed a whole stack of books for us. I thought it was only fair I covered one of his books in my ongoing weekly project.

I am not the biggest football fan, but I know roughly who's who. I also know a lot of the children we read with are much bigger followers than me.The Number 7 Shirt is going to be for them, assuming they can, at the very least, tolerate a book about Manchester United!

Encouraged by personal pep talks from five classic wearers of the Manchester United number seven shirt, Jimmy Beech gets himself together and goes all the way with the Manchester United Academy. It's an inspiring story. The messages the legends provide are all based on real situations, and chapters all end with a page of facts about each star. So although Jimmy's journey is pure fantasy, it all feels very grounded and very motivational.

My only worry is that any book like this goes out of date, it is not a big deal but all the kids will spot that, Ronaldo, has now moved on, and is no longer "United's current number seven". Don't let that put you off, it is going to be spot on for many new readers.

Finally, here's Alan's signature, to prove I'm not making it up:

1 comment:

Sharon Mayhew said...

Richard--I came to your blog via MotherReader's challenge. I'm originally from London, but live in the states now. Do you ever review American books? My friend Stephen Swinburne is also originally from London, but a scuccessful children's writer here in the US...I thought you might want to look at his work. He has 25 NF kid's books and his first fiction mg novel is coming out in March.