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The No.1 football series - over 1 million copies sold! Gareth Southgate was once just a boy with a big England dream. But he knew he couldn't get there without hard work. He trained every day, honed his defensive qualities and quickly became a formidable centre-back for club and country. He went on to guide Middlesbrough, as captain, to a first major trophy in 128 years! His leadership qualities as a player would transform him into a manager. Discover how Southgate put the penalty pain of Euro 96 behind him and inspired the Three Lions through his kindness, tactical rigour and positive mindset, to their first ever the UEFA Euro final. Ultimate Football Heroes is a series of biographies telling the life stories of the biggest and best footballers in the world and their incredible journeys from childhood fan to superstar professional player. Written in fast-paced, action-packed style these books are perfect for all the family to collect and share.
June 2022 Book of the Month | When ordinary boy Marvin wears his super-suit he becomes MARV. A superhero with infinite powers. Marvin and his friend Joe are at the brand-new super-spectacular waterpark - Wave World! But despite the excitement, Marv's reluctant to get in the water. Although Marv can swim, sometimes he gets struck by a fear of the water that he calls 'The Panic'. Marv uses excuse after excuse to stay out of the pool. Then someone shouts 'Shark!' Shark!? It looks like a supervillain is up to mischief again. It's time for Marvin to become MARV. But, even as a hero, overcoming his fear of the water is going to be a challenge. Can Marv defeat supervillain Shadow and her army of robot sharks to save the day?
The benefits – to physical and mental health – of going out for a walk are widely acknowledged, and they are all captured in this bright, joyful picture book. We join little Maya as she sets out for a walk, grown up in tow. There are so many fun things they can do together, from spying tiny secrets – busy ants scurrying, baby plants sprouting – to listening out for noises or copying animals. Each double page is lively, full of things to spot and name, and Maya herself is a busy bundle of energy at the centre of it all. It ends with Maya tucked up in bed and an invitation to think about the walk you will take as you drift off to sleep, while a final spread reminds us of all the things we can do on a walk. Walking, whatever the destination, will be much more fun after reading this.
January 2022 Book of the Month | What a charming, and wonderfully practical how-to book this is. A junior ballerina provides all sorts of advice and information to her peers, from how to style your hair in a bun (NB it’s quite hard if you’ve recently cut it yourself), to the first steps you’ll learn, to what your teacher means by straight legs. It’s no-nonsense stuff, second position is dismissed as ‘boring’, though fourth position gets the thumbs up, and she warns us not to treat the barre as monkey bars, unless you want to spend time in the thinking corner. We’re left in no doubt though how much this little girl loves ballet and her last bit of advice is perfect, ‘if you’re dancing and your heart feels like it’s flying, you will know for sure that you’re a real ballerina.’ The text is full of humour and character, as are Jenny Løvlie’s gorgeous illustrations, and together they also capture the grace of ballet. This is a book to entertain and inspire all young ballerinas, and to make their parents smile in recognition too.
Frozen Mountain is an interactive adventure game book that teaches essential survival skills to up-and-coming explorers. The story unfolds following an emergency landing high in a remote mountain region and from there the reader has to make a series of life and death decisions to make it home. Every possible danger comes your way as you deal with frostbite, bear attacks, blizzards, raging torrents and more. Not to mention the basic techniques for finding food, water and not getting even more lost than you already are! Frozen Mountain is absolutely packed with expert advice and tips for surviving in the wilderness. My favourite was finding out how to make a snow hole to stay warm and safe during a storm - you never know when that might come in handy! Apart from the cool tips, what this book really teaches is the relationship between risk and luck, and how making good decisions is the most important thing when out in the mountains. Page after page there’s a threat to your life. You're provided with information to make a decision and then your decision is tested by the spinner which comes with the book - a reminder that in the end there is always an element of luck in any dangerous situation. Frozen Mountain is great fun and beautifully illustrated in the style of a classic adventure book, and it even includes snippets from terrifying real-life survival stories to fire the imagination! After all, an adventure wouldn’t be an adventure without the possibility you may not return…
Football Rising Star | There are so many exciting moments described in this lively biography of football star Marcus Rashford. There’s the story of his first game for Manchester United’s first team, the club he’d followed all his life, a fairytale debut in which he scored twice to secure them a place in the next round of the Europa League. His first game in the Premier League was just as impressive – again, he scored twice to win the game. He scored on his debut for England too, at 18 years old, the youngest ever English player to do that. And yet, for many, what really marks him out is his success in persuading the government to extend free school meals for children during the summer holidays, and his campaigning against food poverty. It all makes for thrilling, inspiring reading, and Harry Meredith’s narrative does full justice to the drama. Thoroughly recommended for young football fans, whichever team they support.
Marcus is so good at football that there's a very real chance he'll be signed by Manchester United. But when he discovers he may be losing his hearing, his whole world falls to pieces and he finds himself having to put them back together on his own. But is this feeling of isolation real or just a consequence of his own behavior? While dealing with parents, friends and first girlfriends, Marcus gradually understands that accepting the help of others is ultimately an acceptance of self. A novel about friendship and family, The Silent Striker explores the issue of disability, identity and deafness, and the different ways in which we can choose to handle it.
Test your football knowledge with hundreds of funny and fascinating questions about your favourite players and competitions, plus enjoy a variety of other on-the-page activities. Find out more about the Football Superstars, an entertaining and informative series of biographies charting the success of some of our best known and admired global football players.
The eye opening and fascinating true story of Lily Parr, Alice Woods and their teammates in the Dick Kerr Ladies Football team are the inspiration behind this engrossing story of football obsessed Polly Nabb, who would much rather kick a ball than stay at home and help her mother, which is the role society expects her to fulfil. As men, including her beloved brother, were sent to fight in the war, women and girls took their place in munitions factories. When Polly sees these women playing football in their breaks, she lies about her age to get a job there too and eventually she is recruited to the famous Sparks team, who were playing public matches to sell-out crowds, but also on the receiving end of public vilification and scorn. Indeed, despite drawing crowds of 50,000, women's football was to be outlawed by the Football Association in 1921, who deemed it 'unsuitable for females'. This little-known fact will astonish modern fans of the Lionesses England team, as will the authentic detail of the dangers of the munition factories and the wider struggle for female independence and respect. This is a very well-rounded picture of life on the Home Front during the First World War, full of fascinating detail and incident, populated by vivid and memorable characters and infused with a real passion for the game of football. A very entertaining and enjoyable read that adds useful depth to any historical study of the period and a salutary lesson for any sexist sports fans!
50 True Stories of Football's Greatest Sides | If you like football, you’ll love the Football School series of books by Alex Bellos and Ben Lytttleton and this latest, Terrific Teams is another winner! As England falls deeper in love with the national team, Terrific Teams introduces 50 other great sides, from across the world and different eras, and explains just what made them so good. As a Red, I turned immediately to page 112, to read about the rebirth of Liverpool under the great Bill Shankley and how he developed their winning strategy not in the office, but in the tiny boot room under the main stand. It’s a fun fact, but it tells you a lot. The previous entry is tiny Lewes, saved from bankruptcy in 2010 with the introduction of an inspired share ownership scheme which means there are 1,500 owners; while the entry after Liverpool, is Lyon Women, a trophy-winning machine whose former players include Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Dzsenifer Marozsán. This is a fantastic way of examining the variety of the beautiful game, its appeal and the players and fans who make it so special. Unbeatable!
July 2021 Book of the Month | The World Cup, the Europa league, the League Cup, Serie A – you name it, Paul Pogba’s won it (Serie A four times in fact). But if you want to know about the man behind the stats then this is the book for you. It’s jam-packed with information on Pogba’s early life and his playing career from its beginnings at the academy at Le Havre to his glory days at Juventus and Manchester United. There’s lots about his goals of course – especially those amazing volleys, Pogboom! – but other details too, his friendship with Jesse Lingard, his favourite music and yes, his hairstyles. Author and illustrator, who appear throughout in the comic style illustrations, are proper football fans and there’s a real sense of their enthusiasm for their subject. Lively and entertaining, and hugely accessible thanks to the mix of text and illustration, this is another winner in a top-ranked series.