Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Charlie Merrick's Misfits in Fouls, Friends & Football by Dave Cousins

Review by The Mole

Charlie Merrick is captain of his football team, North Star Galaxy Under 12s. At the end of last season, before he became captain, the best players left leaving a team made up of substitutes and those players who couldn't find another team. So far their season has been bad and we join Charlie after they have just been beaten 11-0. But Charlie has faith in the team and believes in them and is also prepared to do anything "for the good of the team".

When a new boy, Jack, comes to school who has been at a football academy he is prepared to do anything to get him onto the squad - including "putting a word" in with his older sister (also a footballer) who tells Charlie "no way". But for the good of the team Charlie will do anything.

With the world cup approaching Charlie has heard of a pre-match tournament that he wants to get North Star into - but sadly they are stuck at the bottom of the league so he starts a diary hoping to chart their rise to fame. That rise to fame is sadly a forlorn hope though.

This book is one of those very busy books that if you want to follow the story you must revisit so much of it later to take in the busy-ness of it. Packed with football facts and story asides there is much to distract the reader from his reading. Much of the story contains comedic moments and cringeingly embarrassing moments when perhaps Charlie is going too far for the good of the team. I am not, and never have been, a football fan and so I was dubious about this book but that only meant I overlooked the plethora of football facts - because this book is about team work really and underlining what that really is.

A great book for the 9-11 readers that will appeal to young football fans.

Publisher- Open University Press
Genre - Children's fiction

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