Kim Chapin The Road to Wembley

ISBN 13: 9780374348496

The Road to Wembley

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9780374348496: The Road to Wembley
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Marty Regan, a fifth-grader at the American School in London, tries to salvage a terrible year by becoming a ball boy for the Belsize Park Bombers, a shaky soccer club fighting for the F.A. Challenge Cup tournament championship.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-Marty Regan is a young American living with his family in London. Although he has difficulty in school and often can't seem to do anything right, he falls in love with the game of football (soccer). Things start to go better for him when he hooks up with the Belsize Park Bombers, a professional football club somewhat down on its luck. He becomes the team's mascot and ball boy. Much of the novel follows the ups and downs of the Bombers as they make their way to the championship. The novel's strength lies in the depiction of Marty, who is a winning and believable character. The book also captures British customs, humor, and weather and gives a sense of what it's like to be an American student in a foreign country. However, as the story progresses it becomes increasingly involved with the byzantine world of English football clubs and the techniques and strategies of play, all leading to a rather abrupt ending. The technical information is accurate and enthusiastically conveyed, but only dedicated soccer fans are likely to plow through till the end. So, while this title has some good things to offer, it may have trouble holding the attention of average readers.
Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A conventional but exciting sports story, hung about with soccer lore and lingo, plenty of action, former players reliving their glory days, and an awestruck American fifth-grader as witness. Marty Regan, a marginal student at London's American School but a committed fan of English football, jumps at a chance to become a gofer for the Belsize Park Bombers. Coached by Jack Buxley, who led the club to its last London Football Association Challenge Cup 40 years ago, the Bombers are skirting the edge of bankruptcy and the loss of their First Division status. Still, despite the sale of one star player and the slump of another, they stage an amazing series of upsets, battling their way once again to the finals at Wembley. Without slowing the pace, Chapin (a former sportswriter) takes readers on a tour of the sport, delivering lucid accounts of its rules, history, and tangle of organizations, defining slang and special terms and creating a sense of high drama in match after match (``Football is not a game,'' says Marty with quiet certainty). School and family business create only minor ripples here. (Fiction. 11-13) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Kim Chapin
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (1994)
ISBN 10: 0374348499 ISBN 13: 9780374348496
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Kim Chapin
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ISBN 10: 0374348499 ISBN 13: 9780374348496
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