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Full of action, both on and off the pitch, this book is bang on target. Charlie Merrick's bunch of misfit friends love football, but they're just not very good at it. Their team, North Star Galaxy, are desperately fighting the battle against relegation in the under 12s league. Their chances don't look too good as at the start of the book they lose eleven- nil. Their fortunes turn when Charlie bribes new boy Jack to join the team as their star goalie, and the team start to win matches. Charlie's best friend Sam refuses to play, having been tricked into missing a match and replaced by Jack. Charlie starts to question if the price of winning is worth paying, when it means betraying his best friend. Meanwhile, Travis, captain of Goldbridge Colts, the arch enemies of North Star Galaxy poaches Jack for his team and it looks like relegation for sure as the Galaxy sink to the bottom of the table. Can Charlie repair the damage he's caused and rebuild some team spirit in time to save the team? The match reports, player cards, drawings, comic strips and fascinating football facts and stats help keep up the pace of the story. It should become a favourite of all football fans; both girls and boys of a wide range of ages from 8-13. It will be eagerly picked up by reluctant readers too as it looks so good, is funny and packed with a whole squad of great characters. Dave Cousins has scored a winner. 201 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Melanie Chadwick, teacher.

Reviewed by: Melanie Chadwick