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Kick

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Kick Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 13
13 Reviews
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Budi's plan is simple.
He's going to be a star.

Budi's going to play for the greatest team on earth, instead of sweating over each stitch he sews, each football boot he makes.

But one unlucky kick brings Budi's world crashing down. Now he owes the Dragon, the most dangerous man in Jakarta. Soon it isn't only Budi's dreams at stake, but his life.

A story about dreaming big, about hope and heroes, and never letting anything stand in your way.

Kick Reviews | Toppsta

9781474928151

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10th April '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
Budi has a plan in life, one thing that he dreams of doing more than anything else in the world. He is going to play for the greatest team on earth, Real Madrid and be as famous as his idol Kieran Wakefield. His life couldn’t be anymore further away from this dream – but the impossibility of his wish doesn’t deter Budi. For Budi works in a sweatshop, stitching football boots that he could never in his wildest dreams afford, always conscious of the omnipresent cane threatening him and the other children from the factory foreman. Budi’s harsh reality means walking home with his pockets turned out so that nobody robs him; never eating dinner on a Friday as there is not enough food and living in constant fear of getting cut due to a congenital illness as his family can’t afford medicine. But his life becomes more desperate and perilous when one unlucky kick leaves him owing a favour to the Dragon, the most dangerous man in Jakarta.

Heart-breaking and wonderfully compelling in equal measures, ‘Kick’ is an incredibly adept debut from Mitch Johnson. He transports the reader into the brutal heart of Indonesia where the divide between the rich and poor is so immense, you can feel it pour out through the pages.  His wonderful descriptive writing stimulates all of your senses so that you can picture the chaos of the crumbling apartment blocks, smell the spicy, salty street food, hear the swish of the foreman’s cane and feel the oppressive heat of the unrelenting sun. Although Budi and this story is a work of fiction, the truth of the matter – which you can’t escape when reading this book –  is that for hundreds of thousands of children around the world this is the actual life they live. Mitch brilliantly balances the hopes and dreams of Budi with the harsh fact that his chance of escaping this vicious cycle of poverty and exploitation is virtually non-existent. He doesn’t shy away from the darkness of the world Budi inhabits and he doesn’t choose the easy way out and for that I have to commend him. Despite all of this, it is still primarily a story about dreaming big, about having hope in the darkest of times and never giving up even when the odds seem too high.  Brilliantly told and magnificently delivered, ‘Kick’ needs to be in every junior, primary and secondary library. If you ever want to encourage empathy and offer children an insight into the difficult lives of other children around the world, then let them read this story.
3rd March '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
I loved being transported into a world so different to mine. Budi is a child labourer in a factory making the boots he longs to wear. His family are trapped in poverty. Yet he doesn't give up dreaming big and he stands up for his family and doesn't let anything stand in his way. Fab for fans of football and those who love an exciting thrill of a read. 
18th November '17
I read it myself (an adult)
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
This was a highly compelling book about friendship and loyalty, and exposes the harshness of some children’s lives. The themes, while being football inspired, are quite adult, and may need explanation. 
It addresses very serious issues, and I would recommend reading it before encouraging a primary aged child to read it. 
I will share it with Year 6 children, perhaps as a class read, or with some explanation, lend it to more mature readers. 
Well done for addressing such a serious issue so very well. 
6th February '18
Cwader read it themselves aged 13 aged 13
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
I liked this book. Budi makes football boots but dreams of better things until he gets in trouble. I would recommend this book for 10+ it’s sad but good 
1st September '17
I read it myself (an adult)
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
This is a very engaging story perfect for boys or girls aged 11+ due to the sensitive nature of the content.  Set in Jakarta we follow the life of Budi and his dream to be a famous footballer like his idol Kireran Wakefield.  Budi works in a sweatshop making football boots, and the book cleverly shows the grim reality of children working in the sweatshop: the harsh and quite violent taskmasters of his superiors, the lack of food, not being able to take a break when ill for fear of losing your job.  A dark twist unfolds in the story with a character called The Dragon, which ultimately results in two deaths in Budi's family.  I really enjoyed reading this story, and it helped me to understand more about child labour.  It is certainly for an older child who can deal with the graphic descriptions that could be disturbing for a younger reader.  A very thought provoking book. 
2nd September '17
I read it to Rory aged 10 aged 10 & to Addie aged 7 aged 7
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
Wow! This book is something else. I read this to both my children although it was more suitable for Rory (aged 10) they both thouroughly enjoyed it. Kick opened up a world of conversation for us. Questions about Jakarta, about fashion and sweatshops, about monsoons. The questions were endless but we love that about a book. The story is beautiful, full of morals and positive thinking without being preachy. It is also heartbreaking. My children aren't overly sensitive but still felt moved by some aspects of the story. I would definitely recommend this book, it is so different to anything else we have read before but we absolutely loved Budi's story 
25th September '17
I read it myself (an adult)
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
A fast-paced, compelling read about so much more than the beautiful game.  It's about the cost of friendship, about having to make agonisingly difficult choices and about keeping hope alive while life delivers some hard blows.  Its a work of fiction, but based on the hard reality of sweatshop labour.  Without the likes of Budi and his best mate Rochy, who make football boots for a pittance, what would Real Madrid be? If these lads could fulfil their dreams, the world would be a much more level playing field.   Perhaps this book will move us in the right direction.
3rd January '18
I read it myself aged 10 aged 10
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
Even though this book didn't have any adventure, I actually really liked it. As well as having themes of football and friendship, this book also showed what hardships children have to face in some parts of the world. It inspires people to persevere and follow their dreams, which is a great message to spread.

Budi is a small boy with big dreams. He works in a factory despite his young age, and shares a flat with his parents and his story-telling grandma. However, in his spare time he loves to play football with his friends. Unfortunately, he gets into trouble with the local crime boss, which leads to the sacrifice of his uncle.

Although there are sad parts in this book, I found it worked really well with the storyline. I would definitely recommend this book to children aged 10+ mainly because of the slightly grown up aspects that bring it all together.
4th September '17
I read it myself (an adult)
Kick 9781474928151
5 stars
wow Wow WOW. I spent today reading this book in one wonderful sitting, utterly spellbound by its brilliance. It is beautifully written, incredibly moving, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-breaking, ultimately bursting with hope, and it explores important issues that need to be talked about. If I could give it ten stars, I would.
4th March '18
Patty cakes read it themselves aged 15 aged 15
Kick 9781474928151
4 stars
A good gripping story
4th September '17
Zap! read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
Kick 9781474928151
4 stars
A very interesting book.I would recommend it to children age 9, 10 + 11.
15th September '17
Sea Turtle read it themselves aged 10 to 11
Kick 9781474928151
4 stars
This was a very engrossing book and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend  it to a 10 to 11 year old. My favorite part was when Budi found his uncle is the bins. My favorite character was Budi's  grandma because her stories were very creative and she was very supportive.
16th November '17
I read it to Leggies aged 9 aged 9
Kick 9781474928151
4 stars
This is a really interesting book; it is about a boy working in a sweatshop making football boots who dreams of being a footballer. Reading with my 9 year old was good as questions could be answered as we went along. 

This book did take us longer to read than other books, we had some breaks because it was a more serious book than my son would usually choose - however, we enjoyed it and it brought up loads of interesting conversations between us. 

Definitely a book for older children. 
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About Mitch Johnson

Mitch Johnson Biography
Mitch Johnson's interest in storytelling began from an early age and led him to study English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. After graduating with a first-class degree, he wrote his debut novel, Kick. Mitch was inspired to write the...

More about Mitch Johnson

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