Soldier's Game, Paperback Book

Soldier's Game Paperback

Part of the Kelpies series

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2012Ross is fed up with being on the losing side, as Bruntsfield Primary football team suffer another humiliating defeat.

But after football practice each week he goes to visit his grandmother, and this week she has a special present for him.

Pat digs out a pair of old football boots and strip which belonged to her father, who once played for Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

Ross is amazed that his great-grandfather, Jack, had played for the famous Hearts.

As he finds out more about Jack, an incredible story unfolds -- a tale of Edinburgh's young heroes and a battalion of footballers and fans who fought in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme.

Based on the true story of the 16th Royal Scots, otherwise known as the 'Hearts Battalion', this moving book brings a fascinating moment of Scottish history to life.

Jim Killgore interweaves the present day life of an ordinary football-mad boy with a story of young men who volunteered for war.

He focuses on the friendships that develop as the lads play football and learn to become soldiers together, making this remarkable story enjoyable and accessible for young people.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Floris Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Sporting
  • ISBN: 9780863158384

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3 stars/Fiction; Young AdultSoldier's Game is a well written story about a young soccer player named Ross who learns about his great grandfathers life as a professional athlete who ended up going off to fight as a soldier in WWI.This was a quick read that I found entertaining despite my lack of knowledge about football (soccer). Killgore's story will definitely appeal to young male readers who enjoy both sports and war history. Told in a way that is not heavy or textbook-ish, the story is well paced and engaging in the way that it combines historical facts within the story.I recommend this book for boys age 12 and up.

Also by James Killgore