Striking Out

Publisher: Scholastic

Jerome Jackson is a black teenager who lives with his over-worked mum and volatile stepfather in their London flat. He dreams of becoming a professional footballer, but since the death of his father, Jerome has lost his confidence to try out for the major clubs.

A chance meeting with legendary striker Ian Wright changes everything. Ian is impressed when he sees Jerome play and encourages the boy to believe in himself and overcome some of the obstacles in his way. As Jerome concentrates on honing his footballing skills, he must contend with a new school, racist abuse and an increasingly stressful home life. With Ian’s guidance, can Jerome turn his fortunes around?

This engaging and uplifting novel, which celebrates friendship and community, is based on Ian Wright’s own childhood experiences and will appeal to any aspiring sportsperson. The tale emphasises the importance of self-belief, working hard and, above all, never giving up. It also highlights some of the difficulties faced by those who grow up in a challenging environment and demonstrates the enormous difference a positive role model can make in a young person’s life.

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