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Dan Freedman is best known for his hugely popular series of Jamie Johnson football novels (Scholastic UK) which have been adapted for TV by the BBC and have sold more than 700,000 copies worldwide. Before becoming an author, Dan worked with the England football team, travelling with them to two World Cups. Dan has made over 2000 school visits during the last ten years and it was those experiences that inspired him to write Unstoppable.
February 2020 Book of the Month | This gripping must-read for sports fans fizzes with a powerful message about picking yourself up and self-belief, and a poignant portrayal of gang culture coercion. I cannot praise Dan Freeman’s compassion-rich writing enough. Life’s not easy for twin fourteen-year-olds Kaine and Roxy growing up on their London estate. Their dad’s lost his job and mum works all hours. But Roxy and Kaine aren’t your average teenagers. He’s a super-talented footballer with Premier League potential, and she’s an outstanding tennis player, tipped for the top. Oh, and they can’t stand each other. After being close as kids, they’ve grown apart, with Roxy loathing the fact that Kaine’s always in trouble, and Kaine hating the way Roxy gets all the attention and support, overlooked even when a scout for a Premier League club comes to watch him. Both a bundle of frustration, Kaine is tempted into dangerous territory. If only Mamma, their Barbados-born grandmother, was around to keep Kaine on the right track. Mamma’s warm, wise presence is felt throughout the novel. She was the person Kaine turned to in times of need. She’d feed him soul food, remind him that he’s special, urge him to “do the extraordinary.” Sage advice comes from Kaine’s supportive PE teacher too, who counsels “There are paths in life, there are choices. And you are at one of those crossroads now”. When tragedy strikes as Kaine loses his way it takes a whole lot of soul-searching for him to turns things round and become the extraordinary young man he is. And Roxy tackles her profoundly life-changing situation with heartrending courage too. With overriding messages of hope, compassion, doing the right thing and staying true to yourself, this is an absolute galáctico, Grand Slam winner of a novel.
For footie mad children this series by Dan Freedman are the perfect books to get kids reading and may be to becoming a brilliant footballer too. They’re real page-turners as well as being realistic and believable. On a penalty shoot-out this series maximum scores.
There's a massive buzz around Jamie Johnson. His dreams of becoming a professional footballer seem to be coming true, after years of hoping and practising. But, just when he seems close to living the dream, a shocking event turns his world upside down. Jamieinds himself facing his toughest times yet. He's never been a quitter, but can he rise to the challenge?