Books: Sport

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The Independent Culture
The Young Soccer Player by Gary Lineker, Dorling Kindersley pounds 4.99. For a young player starting out in football this book is a top scorer. Gary Lineker gives his own tips and advice on how to pass and tackle, control and head the ball, take a penalty, shoot, score and win. Even more mature players should find the advice very helpful in developing new skills. Also, these tips seem genuine: they reflect the way Lineker actually plays. But when I opened the book, what struck me most was the brilliant lay-out, with tons of clear colour photos and close-up details all there at your fingertips. Footballers and Gary Lineker fanatics, this is a must-have]

The Big Game by Rob Childs, Young Corgi pounds 2.50. When Andrew and his younger brother Chris take part in an annual six-a-side cubs tournament, a winger on the other team gives Andrew some troublesome moments. Andrew goes on worrying because he knows that his first game for the school that term is going to be tough - playing against the same team again. This book, which is part of a series by the same writer, should be a very enjoyable read for a younger football fan (8 to 9-year-olds), especially with the simple illustrations and diagrams of play. But for older players like myself (10 upwards), this is not a very challenging read, and because it revolves around just one match it may soon become a bit boring and repetitive.

Run, Billy, Run by Matt Christopher, Little Brown pounds 3.95. Billy Chekko has always loved running as the fastest and easiest way of getting around. But when Billy joins his school's track team it takes him some time to make the change from fun to the competitive atmosphere of track and field. Matt Christopher is a very popular writer in the United States, and when you have finished this book you can tell why. Although it started rather slowly, it quickly picked up speed and by the time I was half-way into it I could not put it down. I found the race descriptions excellent and the way Billy's confidence grew and his character developed was intriguing. A story for sports fans, but with all-round interest, too.

Other books by the same author in this series from America include: The Basket Courts (about basket ball), The Counterfeit Tackle (American football) and Dirt Bike Racer (motor-cross).