Author(s): Mal Peet
"This stirring adventure -- a soccer story? a ghost story? -- defies expectations. . . . Both lyrical and gripping." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)
When Paul Faustino of LA NACION flips on his tape recorder for an exclusive interview with El Gato -- the phenomenal goalkeeper who single-handedly brought his team the World Cup -- the seasoned reporter quickly learns that this will be no ordinary story. Instead, the legendary El Gato narrates a spellbinding tale that begins in the South American rainforest, where a ghostly but very real mentor, the Keeper, emerges to teach a poor, gawky boy the most thrilling secrets of the game. A seamless blend of magic realism and exhilarating soccer action, this evocative novel will haunt readers long after the story ends.
Physical, spiritual - Arthurian, even - this is true enchantment. TES Teacher Tense and atmospheric [...] refreshing original story in which footballing familiars are shot through with curious and satisfying magical realism. The Guardian Has all the ingredients of a great children's novel with drama, suspense and an extraordinarily moving ending...children will love it. Daily Express A brilliant book, thoroughly and richly entertaining. The School Librarian Nothing for the 12-plus age range to beat Mal Peet's now classic World Cup novel The Daily Telegraph The ultimate football novel ... extraordinary Sunday Telegraph
Mal Peet's first novel, Keeper, won the Branford Boase Award and the Bronze Nestle Children's Book Award; Tamar won the Carnegie Medal; and Exposure was the 2009 winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. A writer and illustrator, Mal produced many books for children over his lifetime, most of them in collaboration with his wife, Elspeth Graham.