'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 10 February 2012

Review: Diary of a Soccer Star

Marcus Atkinson is 9 years old. He likes computer games and he doesn’t like sport. Marcus’ father is sure that if he just gets involved he’ll discover hidden sporting talents. Marcus isn’t so sure.

Marcus decides to keep a diary to record the horrors that he is certain are on the way when his father signs him up with a local soccer coaching program. With a combination of words and drawings, Marcus shares the ups and downs of the soccer season and the surprise result of the soccer tournament final.

This humorous story is the first in a series of books featuring the uncoordinated Marcus and his family and friends including his overly enthusiastic, motivational guru father. Marcus’ diary entries share his embarrassment at being unable to keep up with the ‘sporty’ kids and his frustration with dad.

Marcus is frustrated and annoyed with his father’s pushiness, however this isn’t a sad story. Marcus bounces back from any setbacks, makes friends along the way and even wins at times, although not always quite the way his father expects. There is also a lot of humour in Marcus’ confusion over soccer terms used by his coach and the other players (with the real meanings included in his diary entries alongside his entertaining misunderstandings).

While the format and subject is great for early readers, the vocabulary is a little advanced at times and even confident younger readers would probably benefit from having an adult with them to help with the occasional tricky word. The series continues with Diary of a Cricket God and further titles are planned for the future.

Title: Diary of a Soccer Star
Author: Shamini Flint
Illustrator: Sally Heinrich
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $9.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 January 2012
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742378251
For ages: 7+
Type: Young Junior Fiction