Book Review, Illustrated Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

BLOG TOUR: Baller Boys by Venessa Taylor & illustrated by Kenneth Ghann

Baller Boys by Venessa Taylor is the book every football-crazy child has been waiting for! Aimed at children who absolutely love football, especially boys, this exciting, heart-warming story will encourage even the most reluctant reader to give it a try. Soon they will be swept away in the play-by-play action. I can think of numerous football-mad kids – both boys and girls – who will devour this story and love going through every moment with the loveable characters.

Eight-year-old Shay lives in North London and is desperate to be chosen to play for the All Cultures United Under 9s team. He and his best friend, Frankie, go to the trials and give it everything they’ve got. Will it be enough to make the team or will they end up on the development squad? With detailed description, children can go through the drills, matches and emotions with the players and feel like they are really a part of the team.

This book allows children to see themselves in the story. From the familiarity of the football skills to the funny family moments to friendships and fall-outs, these are typical British kids. The diversity of the characters shows the range of families in society while the inclusion of children with challenges such as asthma, allergies, ADHD and needing glasses is a recognisable part of life.  Everyone is respected, celebrated and included.

Life isn’t always straightforward or easy and the same is true for the boys in this story. They face competition, disappointment, jealousy and a feeling of being left out. With the help of their friends, families and coaches, the boys learn how to deal with these challenges and make positive choices. Their determination and resilience is a fantastic model for their readers. In the end, they realise that the most important things in life are to try your best, believe in yourself, work hard and play as a team. This is the perfect recipe for becoming a “Baller Boy”.

Find out more about Baller Boys and author Venessa Taylor on her website.

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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