The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Over the Line
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Set during World War I, this book tells the compelling true story of the Footballers' Battalion: professional footballers who signed up to fight, after being called cowards.
The story focuses on rising star Jack Cock: playing for Huddersfield and scoring game-winning goals. All his dreams have come true - but then he goes off to the trenches.
It's a stroke of brilliance to pair football with wartime history, and this combination is sure to enthral readers and pique their interest in the period.
Be warned that the book does not shy away from the horrors of war: rats, mud, dirt and death. There are some graphic images, but it is not gratuitous, and Palmer does a great job of presenting camaraderie, too.
The book does not go into the nuances of conflict, but it's a lesson in empathy as much as history - and will certainly keep readers on the edge of their seat.