Book Review: Alfie Jones and a test of character by David Fuller
This is the second book in the “Alfie Jones” series (www.alfie-jones.co.uk), following hot on the heels of his first footballing adventure Alfie Jones and a Change of Fortune. David Fuller again provides the words and Rob Smyth the illustrations.
As with all good series, the book quickly picks up and continues from the previous storylines, so that the reader is soon familiar with the central characters (Alfie Jones, Jasper Johnson and Madame Zola) and their relationship and are introduced to a new one in Hayden Whitlock, a boy who has just moved to the Kingsway area. This second book is set around the Kingsway Colts and their first competitive tournament and the advise by Madame Zola that you should, “…never judge a book by its cover…” I won’t spoil the plot, suffice to say that once again David Fuller provides a book that has pace and twists and turns aplenty that keep the reader hooked as the Colts play each game in the competition and Alfie tries to solve the riddle of the message from the mysterious fortune teller.
What I like about the storylines are that they feel genuine and says much about the way the author must impart his love and knowledge of football when coaching juniors. The messages about fair play, enjoying the game, sportsmanship are all here, but not in a way that dominates the drama as it unfolds. The inclusion of the Colts’ group results and league table is a lovely little touch that satisfies the football-statto in me, but reinforces the realm of reality of Alfie and the tournament the reader encounters.
Yes, it is a great read for children, but I would also recommend it to adults who find themselves on the touchline watching youth football – you may recognise yourself! An excellent second instalment – Alfie Jones hits the back of the net again.