Kicking Goals is the debut middle-grade series from Aussie soccer legend Sam Kerr, co-authored by Fiona Harris and illustrated by Aki Fukuoka.
Aussie Rules Football has been in the Kerr family for years. When the family are not at the Subiaco Oval watching their beloved West Coast Eagles they can be found on the footy field playing and coaching or at home where the hallway is used to practice their kicks.
Sam is devastated when she is kicked off the under 12’s team, the boys are getting bigger, the tackles are getting rougher and there is too much risk of a serious injury. Off the team and without her favourite sport, Sam is at a loss until best friend Dylan suggests flipping code and joining his soccer team. But what will her family think? Will the coach want a girl on the team? Will Chelsea, the school bully, scupper Sam’s chances?
Loosely based on Sam Kerr’s childhood experiences, this new series starring the Matildas centurion will be a hit with sports-mad kids (and adults). I’m a huge sports fan and whilst my knowledge of AFL is sketchy at best - I’m one of those pommy’s that calls soccer football - I loved this sporting story. Littered with sporting references and with plenty of action, both on and off the field, there is much to enjoy and cheer loudly about.
Book one in the series charts the journey of a young footy mad girl with dreams of being an AFL star, like her dad and brother, who has the rug swept out from under her when gender restrictions stop her from pursuing her dream. For Sam, this isn’t the end and whilst one sporting dream may have been kicked firmly into touch another one is just about to open.
Whether you’re footy mad like Sam or your passion lies in something else, the book has some great messages and valuable life lessons that everybody can embrace and use to peruse their dreams; having the perseverance to keep going, over-coming challenges (both on and off the pitch) and finding the strength to get straight back up again no matter how many times you find yourself knocked down.
There are also some brilliant messages about the importance of a close knit family and supportive friends. Sam’s best mates Dylan and Indi always have her back when things don’t work out, brother Levi is the encouraging older brother and mum is the voice of reason who helps Sam when her her dreams need readjusting.
Sam Kerr has scored plenty of goals on the pitch and this is another winner that most definitely finds the back of the net!
With huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for this sporty story.
Recommended for 7+.