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