Monday 6 January 2014

Kids' book review : Alfie Jones & The Missing Link - David Fuller

I was very excited when a copy of Alfie Jones & The Missing Link - the third book in David Fuller's Alfie Jones series - landed on my doormat because, when I turned to the final pages, I spotted a quote from little old me from my review of one of the previous titles. How cool is that ?!

If you're unaware of Alfie Jones, he's a typical football-mad ten-year-old boy who is a keen player in his local club, The Kingsway Colts. What is rather more unusual is that every now and then, he hears windchimes and a mystical fortune teller, Madam Zola, pops up, usually giving him a strange object or cryptic piece of advice that seems to make no sense but is nevertheless vitally important if Alfie wants his dream of becoming a professional footballer to remain possible.

In this third book, we rediscover Madam Zola, as well as Alfie's friends and arch-rival Jasper, but if you've never read the other titles, you can still enjoy this one as a stand-alone novel. In it, Alfie discovers that those qualities valued and encouraged by his beloved coach Jimmy, such as loyalty, giving it your all and being in it for the enjoyment of playing rather than the winning, are not universally respected in the footballing world, particularly in professional football circles. When Jasper makes it into an elite football academy and many of the much better players don't, Alfie suspects that something is not quite right, particularly when he sees Jasper's dad getting all chummy with the academy's talent scout. It's up to Alfie to put the pieces together, with a little help from Madam Zola and Jimmy, and uncover the seedier, more cynical underside of the world of sports.

As with the other books in the series, while the novel will have great appeal for football fans, being a lover of the game isn't a prerequisite because the story is well-told with an exciting plot that will make young readers want to keep on turning the pages. Author David Fuller's enthusiasm as a soccer coach really comes through in his descriptions of the game and this may well encourage some new players to give the sport a try too. Young boys are undoubtedly the target audience (anything that makes this notoriously reluctant group of readers enthusiastic about books has to be a good thing !) but children of both sexes will enjoy the Alfie Jones books - there's even a girl in Alfie's team to prove the point !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £5

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: RDF Publishing (15 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957033923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957033924
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm

Disclosure : I received the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Children's book review : Dead Man's Cove (A Laura Marlin Mystery) - Lauren St John

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