________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 17. . . .January 8, 2016


The Fantasy Soccer Wall. (Race Further with Reading).

Ann Bryant. Illustrated by Kelly Kennedy.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $23.49 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2109-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2061-4 (RLB).

Kindergarten-grade 1 / Ages 5-6.

Review by Kate Hachborn.

** /4



Children had to stand by the wall if they broke the rules. Harry trudged off to stand by the wall for three minutes.

He sighed and stared at the wall. Maybe if he invented a game it would make the three minutes go faster.

Yes! He could pretend the wall was a massive computer with superpowers. He would control the computer, and every brick in the wall was someone in the school. “Okay, this one is Brad Bates,” he whispered, touching the brick right in front of his nose. “Make him fall over.”


Harry really wants to impress his coach and teammates with his soccer skills, but when he accidentally knocks the ball out of bounds, Harry costs the team the game and becomes the target of underhanded taunts from Brad, the star player. When Brad kicks a ball towards Harry, he goes out of bounds to collect it, getting in trouble with the playground supervisor and ending up on the wall for a punishment. Harry imagines the wall is a powerful computer that can control the school, and when things at school start to happen according to his plans, he must decide whether to use his powers for good or evil. Ultimately Harry makes the right decision, uniting with Brad to save a dragon and her babies who live in the mound out of bounds.

     The next step in Crabtree’s “Race Ahead with Reading” series, The Fantasy Soccer Wall is part of “Race Further with Reading” series. Because the book has but five chapters in total, readers transitioning from picture to chapter books will find the length manageable. Colour illustrations on every page will also appeal to transitioning readers. Paragraphs and dialogue are not indented which seems an odd choice for a series introducing new readers to conventions of fiction. The plot is linear and encourages readers to use their imagination; however, the introduction of a dragon as a catalyst to get Brad and Harry to become friends seems like a push too far. With The Fantasy Soccer Wall being a combination of sport story, school story and fantasy, young readers may enjoy the twists in plot.


Kate Hachborn is a library technician at the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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