Superkicks: Time to Play / Best Shot

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What is it?

A story book series for young readers.

Who is it by?

By Don Bosco and Benedict Boo, published by Marshall Cavendish.

What is it about?

This series is about Lee Jin, captain of the school football team, and his challenges playing the sport he loves. In Time to Play, Lee Jin finds out about the Superkicks training programme for talented young footballers. He and some other schoolmates are disappointed when their teachers don’t encourage them to try out for the programme. There seem to be many obstacles in Lee Jin’s path to get into Superkicks. Besides, is he really good enough?

The second book is about problems on the school team as Lee Jin goes through a dry spell. Being unable to score, he is blamed for his team’s spate of bad results. Some of his teammates even want him to step down as captain. They believe he is not playing well in school because of his Superkicks commitment. Seeking advice from Superkicks director Dr Khan doesn’t help. In fact, it just earns him a suspension for being unable to prioritise.

What can children learn from it?

There are no great mysteries or problems for the characters to solve. Instead, these books teach children values like being fair and kind, teamwork, leadership and that girls too can play football.

What did I like about it?

A “local” children’s book series about football is really rare. I use the word “local” loosely here, as authors Don Bosco and Benedict Boo are Singaporean and this series is set in their country.

It is admirable that the authors have decided to write books about football and, in the process, encourage children to take up sports.

Bosco is an avid children’s book author, while his co-author, Benedict Boo, is a sports enthusiast and an active lifestyle advocate.

The art of storytelling is strong in this series, as it keeps readers turning the pages to find out what happens to Lee Jin and his friends. As with all series written by Bosco, this one also has tidbits thrown into each book, hinting at a bigger story or secrets yet to be revealed.

Basic storytelling done well here.

Where to get it?

The books can be bought online at http://marshallcavendish.com/marshallcavendish/genref/index.aspx.

Should you get it?

Yes, if your child is a football fan or just loves a well-written series.