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Sport Stories

Children who don't enjoy reading are often interested in sport so they may be tempted by books with a sporting background.

Wipe Out
by Mimi Thebo
    For one week we travel with Billy who has lost his mother, Kitten Brown. Kitten was a tiger surfer winning Hawaii Tropic Open trophy. She’s larger than life and twice as vibrant. For Billy, she’s gone except when he dreams - large dreams, full of colour and surfing. And slowly his dreams and his life swap over. His life is made harder by his mother’s last wish to have him stay with Aunty Mary before her funeral.
    With mum’s death come questions. Will he and his father learn how to live without mum? Will they learn to talk to each other? And how can he leave Aunty Mary in her grey house with her budget life?
    By the end of the book, everything has changed. We are travel a lifetime with Billy’s family and friends and you can't help liking him. Mimi Thebo writes powerfully and simply to produce an honest book that captures the first painful days of a loved ones death.
It's a boy’s book, although surfer girls will relate to it, and it's a fantastic book for reluctant boy readers.
Ages 10+
(reviewed by Catherine Randle)
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Football Fantasy
by Jonathan Sutherland and Gary Chalk
(Wizard Books)
Billed as the first interactive sports books in the world, these games books are designed give readers all the fun of playing football without actually venturing onto a pitch. It's absolutely essential that you already know how to play football so, as I don't, I'm grateful to Robert and Jimmy at our local school who agreed to test the books for me. At first, they were worried as the books are quite thick but they soon discovered that most of the space is taken up with the actual game playing pages. You only have to read a few explanatory pages at the beginning before you can get started. The playing pages use symbols that are hard to remember at first so it's a good idea to photocopy the list at the back of the book so you don't have to keep flicking backwards and forwards.
Each book puts the reader in control of a team. Robert and Jimmy thoroughly enjoyed learning about their different players and playing the game. They played against each other but there is also a solo version which they didn't try.
Ages 10+
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Glory Gardens by Bob Cattell
Illustrated by David Kearney
(Red Fox)
Hooker and his friends are just a group of kids who play cricket in the park until, at a teacher's suggestion, they form their own team - the Glory Gardens XI. This series of books follows the team from their early days in the under 12s league right through to the under 15s and a tour of the Caribbean. The stories delight young cricket fans, including reluctant readers, and contain enough information on cricket to help non-players understand the plot.   

(with thanks to Kate)
Order from 1: Glory in the Cup
2: Bound for Glory
3: The Big Test
4: World Cup Fever
5: League of Champions
6: Blaze of Glory

Fishing Forever by David Churchill
(Merlin Unwin Books)
Well-written and fast moving, this book is a series of exciting short stories about Ken and Dave, two boys who love fishing. It has plenty of technical detail and descriptions to delight angling enthusiasts and the short story  approach appeals to reluctant readers who may feel daunted by a long book. As an added bonus, the author invites young readers to write to him and promises to put their reviews on his website. 
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