2nd July 2015, Hoperoad Publishing, 208 pages, Paperback, Review copy,
Content: drama, suspense, football, friendship, family
Summary from Hoperoad Publishing
Marcus is a 14 year old footballing genius who keeps getting into deep trouble at his school. He is the best player by far at Ducie High, in a tough, ethnically diverse, inner city area. The team gets tantalisingly close to Schools League and Cup glory. His Nigerian father is a wannabe soul singer with a day job as a postman, and his English mum cold-calls double glazing. They are at a loss what to do with wayward, Marcus.
Dealing with deafness, shifting friends, crazy parents and a ‘special measures’ school, he will have to gather all the strength he can find – in others as well as within himself.
I'm not entirely sure why I was so keen to read this book, seeing as Marcus is a boy, but I liked the sound of it and it's very engaging. I didn't guess it was the second in a series, I didn't feel like I was missing out on not knowing certain parts. Yes, there is a lot of talk about football – my eyes did glaze over some of the more descriptive parts, but for the most part I was caught up in the mixture of emotions Marcus had both before and after his hearing issues get diagnosed. It goes to show that it's easy not to pick up on a medical condition if the symptoms can be dismissed as behavioural issues.
Marcus struggled with being self-conscious about the changes he had to make in his life – which to him were a huge deal, but thankfully to his true friends didn't matter. I liked the fairly large part Marcus's family plays in his life, the way they deal with his coming to terms with his medical issue, his parents still disciplining him where necessary as well as supporting him.
Find out more on Pete's website.
Available from most book shops including NRC affiliate Foyles.
A football themed read for younger readers can be found in Charlie Merrick's Misfits: Fouls, Friends, and Football by Dave Cousins (Children's, 9 years +, 9/10E)