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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!
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.
May 2021 Book of the Month | With 50 different activities to try out in this book, there’s really no excuse for not getting active. Its message is that wherever you are, you can get moving, and it makes it sound really tempting. After explaining why it’s important to get active, it lists things to do and how to do them, whether that’s trying the long jump to building an indoor obstacle course. The instructions are clear and fun, with charts and photos to make it even more appealing and easy to follow, and you can record your activities as you go on write-in charts. Little ‘Did you know?’ boxes pass on fascinating facts and there extra tips scattered throughout too. Bright, colourful, lots of fun, this is certain to get everyone on their feet.
The Young Cyclist’s Companion is a brisk guide for the aspirant bike rider all the way from choosing a first bike to techniques for wheelies and bunny hops and the finer points of riding in a group. Peppered with inspirational quotes from pro cyclists as well as the likes of Freddie Mercury and Albert Einstein, it includes lots of practical advice on equipment, maintenance and road safety as well as fun facts from the history of bikes and bike racing. Whether you want know how to adjust your brakes to perfection, corner at speed or which side of your helmet straps the arms of your sunglasses should be on, all the key elements of riding and looking after your bike are covered with infectious enthusiasm. At 38 pages long it’s short enough to be easily digestible for young readers and riders but those pages are packed with a surprisingly large amount of useful and entertaining information. Best of all it makes you want to get out and ride. ~ Sam Huby, Bikemonger Read a short Q&A with author Peter Drinkell in World of Adventure - 50 Books to Inspire
Is Sergio Aguero your ultimate football hero? He is the highest South American scorer in the history of the Premier League with more than 180 goals, has won the title four times, and holds the joint-record for the most goals (five) scored in a single Premier League match. Guided by his father, discover how Sergio started playing football at the age of five and how his skills saw him becomes the youngest player to debut in the Argentine Primera Division at aged 15 before moving to Europe where he has since earned legendary status.
If Salah is your favourite football player then this is the book for you! Discover how he grew up in Gharbia, Egypt playing football for the youth team El Mokawloons to being named the African Footballer of the Year in 2019 by the BBC and CAF. Learn how he spearheaded Liverpool FC to the Champions League title in 2019.
If Neymar is your favourite football superstar, then this is the book for you! Discover how he went from playing street football and futsal in Sao Paulo to becoming one of the best players on the global scene playing for clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Learn how Neymar scored over 300 career goals, competed in the Olympics twice, and became one of the most popular football players worldwide.
What a special person Marcus Rashford is, on and off the pitch. With a focus on his football, this excellent little biography also gives readers a good idea of his life and how he’s got to where he is today. The stats of course speak for themselves, he’s a brilliant footballer and the book provides some analysis of why he scores so many goals. It also tells us about his early football games, playing in his tiny back garden with brothers Dwaine and Dane, before joining the youth academy at Manchester United (born in Wythenshawe, he’s always been a fan). No matter how successful he’s been, he’s never forgotten the community he grew up in as the book explains, and its final stat, after all those goals, penalties and assists, is the money he’s raised for charity FareShare: £20 million. Author and illustrator write with all the enthusiasm of real football fans, peppering the pages with jokes and extra football facts, making this very appealing and super-readable. There’s a quiz at the end to test the reader’s memory and a useful glossary too.
As Tough Women’s subtitle declares, these are “stories of grit, courage and determination”. True tales from twenty-two tough women who undertake awe-inspiring adventures across the globe, from canoeing the Canadian wilderness, to hiking Pakistan, to cycling South America. Its editor is the intrepid Jenny Tough, a Canadian mountaineering expert who notes in her introduction that “the outdoor industry is actually fully of women, but when it comes to the highest level of media…the demographic dwindles to one”. Fortunately, this sexist state of affairs could be on the verge of changing - through giving voice to the “badass outdoorswomen” who here tell their extraordinary stories, this book might just change that narrow narrative and inspire new generations of female adventuresses. Each account enthrals like the best kind of travel writing. There are dazzling evocations of, for example, rugged Himalayan mountain-scapes, lush South American jungles, and howling Norwegian glacial valleys. Many of the women’s stories reveal monumental physical and emotional challenges - challenges tackled and overcome with super-human strength and resilience - and all of them underpinned by a joyously life-affirming spirit of curiosity. For more books with a strong, feminist theme, visit our Girl Power feature.
Patrick Neate’s Small Town Hero melds a sensitive handling of real-life loss with alternate world weirdness to create a surprising, unique novel. There’s grief and gaming, family secrets and football, and the interwoven themes of loss and science will appeal to readers who liked Christopher Edge’s The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and are now a little older. Everything changed for thirteen-year-old Gabe when his dad died in a car accident. First there’s his grief, which has created a “black hole inside me.” Then there’s his unsettling new ability: “the stories I imagine become real.” Reeling with grief and confusion, Gabe finds he’s not entirely alone when he spends more time with his estranged Uncle Jesse, writer of an online game called Small Town Hero, which - to make matters even weirder – appears to echo Gabe’s life. Jesse believes “there aren’t just a few realities, but a countless number” and explains that when Gabe shifts realities and sees alternate versions of his present and future life, he’s crossing something called an “event horizon”. As Gabe’s reality-shifting plays out, he also falls out with his best friend. Still, he has Soccer School to look forward to, and here Gabe takes on pertinent football wisdom from one his Watford icons: “Football’s a game of moments. You get the ball, you choose a pass and, whether you chose right or wrong and did it well or badly, the moment’s gone and you gotta move on…the game makes you live in the here and now – you can’t change what’s gone and you can’t see what’s coming.” For similar books you can find an exciting and varied selection in our new Gritty Reads section
Is Raheem Sterling your ultimate football hero? He played his first Premier League match in 2015 and in just four years has scored 116 goals and made 114 assists in 388 games for club and country. Discover the rags-to-riches story of a young boy who loved playing football, even in the rain, and how he followed his passion to become one of the most lethal forwards in world football.