Sam Kerr, Australian soccer legend and goal-scoring superstar for English FA Women’s Super League side Chelsea FC, returns in the second instalment of the book series that roughly charts her life from sport-loving child to global soccer superstar.
In book one, The Flip Out, Aussie Rules loving Sam had to find a new sport to embrace after gender restrictions prevented her from playing for her local AFL team. Thankfully, the Knights soccer club were more than happy to welcome a girl on to their team. A New Knight picks up where the first book left off and after a rocky start, Sam is staring to feel good about playing for her new club, is beginning to express herself on the pitch and has even scored her first goal.
But just when things are looking great, school bully Chelsea Flint joins the soccer team and appears to be intent on ruining Sam’s fun. Things aren’t going great off-field either. Friendships are fraying, family events are causing anxieties and all Sam really wants to do is to be scoring goals…
Being a fan of all sports, I love this series of books and it is guaranteed to be a winner with sports-mad kids who will be all too familiar with the high and lows of being part of a sports team. Full of sporting action and with plenty of drama both on and off the field, there is much to cheer loudly about.
Whilst the sporting story will be a big draw for many readers, there are plenty of other relatable themes that will be of interest to children of seven and up. Sam has to face up to the school bully - where she learns that not everything is quite as it seems, must overcome her off-field anxieties and has to deal with fracturing friendships.
Nothing though is too much for this fab, passionate and strong-minded protagonist who is determined to make a success of everything that she does even if it involves wearing a dress and having to dance with a boy. Whether it be showing understanding and empathy towards Chelsea Flint, owning her mistakes and realising when she has not been a good friend or doing something that she really doesn’t want to do, Sam, supported by her friends and family, takes everything in her stride. You go girl!
Further action with Sam, her friends and the goal-scoring Knights will be available later this year with the release of Sports Day.
With huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 7+.