Best Books for Children

Kate L'argent, Independent Usborne Organiser


January Book Club Review - Kick

26th January 2018

This is a story about football. A story about the harsh reality of life. But most importantly, it is a story about hope.

Budi has big dreams. One day he is going to leave his life in Jakarta behind to play for the greatest team in the world - Real Madrid. But for right now, Budi is stuck doing the same thing that he's always done - stitching the uppers on pair after pair of football boots. 

Yet that doesn't stop him believing. Every day when he's playing two on two with Rochy, Uston, Widodo and Fachry he knows he has the skills to make it. As he scores goal after goal, skidding across the broken ground and dodging tackles, he knows that becoming a footballer is meant to be. He knows that one day he will be just like his favourite footballer Kieran Wakefield.

But then one day Budi's world comes crashing down...

A unlucky kick thrusts Budi into the world of the most dangerous man in Jakarta - the Dragon. And he owes him big. Budi's dreams vanish as he is thrust into a dark world of blackmail and bribery, where more than just his life is at stake.

Kick is a blockbuster of a novel. The writing is almost cinematic throughout, and we were completely drawn in to Budi's world, rooting for him, agonising over his decisions, and inwardly cheering when life seemed like it might be getting that bit better. Whilst the novel takes place in the streets of Jakarta, it shows us that deep down we are all the same, we all have hopes and dreams, and we all have a right to want to achieve them.

Mitch Johnson has achieved a hat-trick with Kick: a gripping plot, an incredible narrator, and a timeless central theme. A premier league novel that should be on everyone's 'to read' list.

Here's what our Organisers thought about it:

'Read it in less than 24 hours and had a 'book hangover' as I stayed up waaaaaaaay too late reading it!' Rona McColgan

'Me and my 8 year old son started it last night...loved it and he was delighted as I read way more chapters at bedtime than I normally do...couldn’t put it down' Jennifer Brooks

'It's gorgeous. I love Budi's voice so much. It so far reminds me of a POC version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - his family life is so much like Charlie's.' Dionne Lakey

'Read it really quickly - I just couldn’t put it down. It really captures the essence of the conditions, but also the human condition to dream. I love the grit and determination message too.' Heidi Thomas

'Such a great engaging story. Hope can be found in the most challenging circumstances.' Anna Koe

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