Our Beautiful Game

Lou Kuenzler (Faber)

Our Beautiful Game

Review by Evie
I really enjoyed reading this book because it was about football and about how in the time it was set (I think it was around 1917?) girls shouldn’t play football. The most interesting character for me was probably Polly Nabb, and 12-year-old girl who was crazy about football. Polly’s actions and characteristics made her the most interesting; so caring and kind for her friends when they needed her most.

A character that annoyed me was Don Sharples. He was a man who worked at Lowcross Munitions factory and was very determined to get his point across that girls shouldn’t be allowed to play football. His character was very stubborn and not very kind at all.

The plot of the story was very exciting, tense but also light-hearted as Polly got herself into some sticky situations at some points! Overall, this was a very, very good book and I would recommend this book to everyone. 

Review by Imaan
Football? History? Strong female characters? This book has it all!

Polly the protagonist could have been me but during the war and I was so happy reading this book. Even though it was set during the Great War (WW1), the book gave me a lot of hope and happiness.

I learnt there were female footballers who would play to crowds and how these women helped transform attitudes about women. This is so important, especially because women’s football still isn’t seen the way men’s football is so those women were so brave.

I recommend this book to EVERYONE and I liked it a lot.

Review by Alessia
Our Beautiful Game was about a girl called Polly. She loves football and plays it as much as possible. However, when she starts a job she can’t play it every day.

One thing I liked about the book was how it encourages girls’ confidence. When we see Polly stand up to the sexist boys, it encourages girls to stand up for themselves and play games like football without fear of being judged by boys.

One thing I also liked was Polly’s character development. When Olive got arrested, Polly’s first thought was they would not have a goalkeeper. However, later on, when Daph gets sick, everyone else is concerned about who will replace her in the team, but Polly is more concerned about her wellbeing. This shows she learned to love and care for her friends.

One thing I disliked about the book was how Polly reacted to Joe going missing. I feel like she could have had more thoughts about it instead of forgetting about it for the majority of the book. Also, what I did not like was how Polly had some toxic personality traits to her character – for example, enjoying excluding Clara. The author normalises this and the reader could think it’s OK to enjoy your friends feeling left out.

Overall, it was a really good book and I recommend it to anyone around my age willing to learn about women’s role in World War I through an enjoyable story about a likeable girl called Polly.

Review by Grace
I found this book very interesting and empowering mainly because it’s about how woman aren’t allowed to play football, but there ends up a woman’s team becoming a very famous football team. I love this because the main character, called Polly, was pushed down so much but she pulled through and became a footballer just like she had wanted to be. My favourite bit in the book was at the end with Polly and the girl she had been living with called Clara. They became incredibly close and played a big game together, proving that girls could play football. All the men who said women couldn’t play football ended up being proven wrong.

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