Thursday 4 April 2024

Review: Me and Aaron Ramsey by Manon Steffan Ros (Childrens, 9 years +, 9/10E)

 11th April 2024, Firefly Press, 160 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Book summary from Firefly Press

 Me and Aaron Ramsey tells the story of Sam and his dad who both love football, which is always there for them however tough real life becomes. That is, until Dad’s dreams of football stardom go horribly wrong. Sam’s love for the footballing legend becomes tangled with his relationship for his father as things go south in their family life.

Nayu's thoughts

Despite not liking the sport I thoroughly enjoy reading children's football tales. I like the dedication to the game that Sam has, it's such a good connection to have with his father who already has a secret. I feel that football really keeps Sam going no matter what life throws at him, which ends up being two major life events. Over the course of the book he learns to trust and lean on his best friend Mo who, as it turns out, has almost exactly the same kind of life worries. The moment when these two opened up together was so beautiful I cried a little, as boys need to talk about feelings as much as girls.

Sam has to cope with his parents not getting a long, which on its own is a major issue. Add to that the secret his dad keeps tight to his chest which restricts the types of part time job he can have while being a low paid professional footballer, and then a life-changing incident, there are a lot of complicated feelings that Sam's father endures which has direct effect on Sam and his sister (and their mother). Seeing their lives crumble was realistic, and it takes Mo's mother, who is a force of nature, to get Sam's dad feeling less sorry for himself and taking action to improve his life how best he can. I was cheering him on throughout that journey - I'm not spoiling what the secret was as discovering it for myself was a surprise and also not a surprise. Let's just say that not everyone is as fully educated as they ideally should be upon reaching adulthood. 

This book is full of heartwarming friendships and real life drama that is handled accurately and sensitively. 

Suggested read

Other sport themed reads include this poetry book, Give Us a Goal by Paul Cookson (Children's, Non-Fiction, Poetry, 8/10)


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