I’m thrilled to participate in the BALLER BOYS blog tour. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour listed above.


By: Venessa Taylor

Published: May 28, 2020

Publisher: Hashtag Press

Fiction/Middle-Grade Fiction

Shay and Frankie are the best of friends, living in the same neighborhood in inner-city London. On the last day of school a note is sent home that the Under 9s AC United football team is looking for players, Shay and Frankie are excited to try out for the team. Football in London is what we call soccer here in the US. Shay and Frankie want nothing more than to play for this elite squad.

Shay and Frankie have been practicing really hard. Frankie is super fast but has trouble seeing the goal and the other players sometimes. Shay is a great kicker and can score a lot of goals. When Frankie only makes the practice squad, Shay has to decide if he still has time to be Frankie’s best friend.

A lot of the boys on this team come from different nationalities and have different abilities. Oscar is always late, Hassan is bossy, and Jamie can’t concentrate and is always running around while the others are sitting and listening. Frankie and Shay have to learn to adapt to all the new guys on the teams, find out what makes them good players, and eventually rally around a fundraiser that will bring lots of team spirit.

This chapter book is perfect for kids who like sports, who have felt left out or different, and like stories of friendship. Frankie and Shay and their families help each other get the boys to their practices and spend time with them honing their skills on the weekends. The boys support each other and apologize when they have hurt someone’s feelings. They look out for the “little guy” and always make sure everyone is included.

Each chapter is short and offers illustrations throughout to keep kids interested and turning the pages. Even though this book features boys that are under 9-years-of-age, I can see younger advanced readers and older reluctant readers liking the fast-paced reading style of this book. There is lots of sports talk and action to keep football (or soccer) fans interested.

For every kid that has dreamed of making the team, this book is for them!

To purchase a copy of BALLER BOYS, click the photo below:

Venessa Taylor brings two decades of experience as an inner-city primary school teacher and assistant headteacher, to the creation of the Baller Boys series. Aimed at encouraging young boys to enjoy reading, the football-themed stories are written with young readers in mind. Born and raised in London, Venessa continues her legacy as a literacy lead, through her stories. For more information, you can check out her website, HERE.

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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