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Get a Kick Out of Reading series – By Sean Fraser and Hilton Sarukunda

| September 24, 2010

Published by Maskew Miller Longman and Pearson
ISBN: 978-1-77025-717-7
Reviewed by Nikki Sulter, Librarian: St John’s Preparatory School for Boys

In our soccer-mad country, it is surprising and disappointing that there are so few home-grown children’s books on the subject.

So, thank goodness for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa! It was, without doubt, the catalyst for a long-overdue series of local books dealing with the ‘beautiful game’. It would be wonderful to see titles such as It’s a Funny Game, Our Heroes, Soccer Africa!, Super Soccer Skills and Three of the Best available in every school
library or classroom around the country.

What better way to get boys reading? Several of these titles examine legendary football players in Africa and across the world; a number of whom make ideal role models for aspiring footballers. Attention is also given to the skills required to succeed in the game, and these tips are bound to be pored over by enthusiastic youngsters.

In addition, the books explore the game of football in various countries across our continent and the tournaments that take place here – a creditable attempt at giving a higher profile to the sport in Africa. The title that most appealed to our group of Grade Six boys was Three of the Best, which explores the rags-to-riches tales of Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and our own Lucas Radebe.

Paragraphs in the books are fairly short, using mostly familiar vocabulary, and glossaries provide the necessary explanations for the more unfamiliar words.

The books are colourfully illustrated, albeit with fairly rudimentary drawings and some appealing photographs. Unfortunately, the poor quality of
paper used in some of the books, combined with the rather flimsy binding, may not stand up to the scores of enthusiastic readers that this series is sure to attract.

These are the sort of books that have the potential to put millions of non-readers in South Africa on the road to reading. May they be the first of many in support
of the goal of the Equal Education Committee for One School, One Library, One Librarian!

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Category: Book Reviews, Spring 2010 Edition

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