Sunday 9 December 2012

Children's book review : Alfie Jones and a Test of Character - David Fuller

Earlier in the year, I reviewed children's book Alfie Jones and a Change of Fortune, the first in David Fuller's series featuring football mad Alfie Jones. The sequel, Alfie Jones and a Test of Character, has now been released and we received a copy to review.

The story follows the latest football-themed adventures of Alfie and his pals in the Kingsway Colts football team and features many characters from the first novel - Jimmy the kind-hearted, elderly coach that they all love and who insists that having fun is more important than winning, the highly competitive and ruthless rival coach Keith and his equally nasty son Jasper and - of course - the mysterious Madame Zola. If you haven't read the first book, you can still enjoy this second episode as a stand-alone novel though, but the first book would give you a lot of background history to explain the power play going on between the coaches and the players on and off the field.

Football-mad boys will love the storyline but I was surprised to see that even I really got into the exciting, suspense-filled descriptions of the matches, despite not being keen on football at all ! You can really sense the passion and enthusiasm coming through for the sport from the author, who is also a football coach for a junior team. I bet he's more like the kindly Jimmy than the nasty Keith !

Young readers will relate to Alfie as he has to confront bullying tactics, work out how to relate to new people and realise that coach Jimmy was right when he said that winning isn't the be-all-and-end-all of football (and indeed life). Madame Zola's cryptic messages always end up being important life-lessons too.

It's a lovely book to read together with your tween and it's great to see a book that will really appeal to tween boys, who are notoriously reluctant readers.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP :  £5

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: RDF Publishing (30 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957033915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957033917
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.4 x 1.4 cm

Disclosure : We received a review copy of the book.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Picture Book Review : Sylvester and the New Year - Emmeline Pidgen

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