When Seamus and his scaredy-ba Granda go for a night-time walk, they don’t expect to find a group of ghosts in an old barn.
Greg the Ghoul, Phantom Pete and friends are too scared to go up into heaven, in case they are sent back down to hell, so they are just waiting around in the barn, getting bored.
Seamus has an idea to relieve their boredom – they should form a football team and play other ghosts! The ghosts are nervous, but Seamus and his Granda help them get fit and improve their game.
Soon they are champion players, powering their way through teams on earth, heaven and even hell!
About the Author.
Malachy Doyle writes a variety of picture books, story books and teenage novels. His first teenage book, Georgie, won the Tir na n-Og Award, and his picture book, Cow, won an English Association Award, both in 2002. Malachy now lives in a little seaside town in Wales, with his wife, Liz, and their two cats. To find out more, visit Malachy’s website: www.malachydoyle.co.uk Garry Parsons has previously illustrated several Egmont Banana books, including the previous book about Seamus and his ghostly friends – The Football Ghosts. Garry works on magazines, newspapers, advertising, packaging and of course children’s books! The first picture book Garry illustrated was nominated for the Red House Children’s Book Awards 2004 and for the Stockport Children’s Book Awards. Garry lives in South London. Visit his website to find out more: www.garryparsons.co.uk
These would suit NC level 3 readers, second class ages 8 to 9
Reading challenges and support offered by the books:
These books offer longer stories than the Blue Banana books. The stories are divided into chapters. This structure will support children’s understanding of how to read longer books.
The chapter structure also allows children to think about how chapters begin and end. Stopping to think about this, talking about what has happened in the chapter and what might happen in the next will also help children’s understanding of story shape and support both their reading and their writing.
Within the chapters, stories are paragraphed, another development from the Blue Bananas. This will again help children to chunk up their reading and make sense of longer units of text. They may need to be taught how to do this.
The stories increase in complexity within this strand of the series. Some stories (like Dragon Boy by Pippa Goodhart) demand that children empathise with a character who is different. Some stories (like Press Play by Anne Fine) include different kinds of texts within the main texts, which places extra demands on children who have to recognise the different ‘voices’.
The language within the books becomes more literary. As well as similes and word play, there is also lyrical description. Some children may find this more difficult to read, but can be encouraged to use the descriptions to create images in their heads, and may also be encouraged to think about the choices and intentions of the writer.