Falling Star

by Robert Rayner

The Brunswick Valley kids are on the road. In order to secure the top spot in the league, the gang is playing a series of away-games at schools around the province.
The Brunswick Valley kids are back, and this time they're taking it on the road. In order to secure the top spot in the league, the gang is playing a series of away-games at schools around the province. With their teenage coach, Ice, at the wheel of the van, victory, hilarity, and complications are sure to follow! [Fry Reading Level - 5.0

About the Author

Robert Rayner
ROBERT RAYNER is a former elementary school principal in St. George, New Brunswick. He worked as a journalist in Cambridge, England before turning to education. His first book, Walker's Runners, was nominated for the Ann Connor Brimer Award. Both Walker's Runners and his second book Miss Littles Losers are Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" Selections.


Robert Rayner's book, Falling Star is about a young boy who is a superstar soccer player, but who has somehow lost his nerve. Readers are introduced to the main character of Edison Flood as he prepares to kick in a goal in his last game with his current school. Edison talks readers through how easy the shot should be, how easy it has always been for him, but somehow he misses the goal. Readers also discover in the first couple of pages that this isn't a completely new experience for Edison; rather, it is becoming the norm. Somehow Edison has lost his nerve for the game he has always loved. When his mother gets a new media job in a small town called Brunswick Valley, Edison sees it as an opportunity to regain his confidence and figure out why his game has gone so bad. He thinks that no one in the new town will know who he is or what he is capable of, and this excites him. The excitement only lasts until his mother informs him that he's signed up to play with the school champions and that his last game of the tour will be his tryout for a prestigious private school. The problems start almost immediately with his new team as Edison becomes competition for their best player. Edison tries everything he can to stay out of the limelight only to do more damage than if he'd tried his best. Slowly, with the help of his new team, Edison learns that it's not his talent that he's lost but rather his love for the game. The pressures of always trying to be the best are what are hampering his abilities. Once he decides to play for the fun of the game rather than winning or earning a place in the private school, Edison becomes once again the superstar he has always been.
Rayner has done a wonderful job of portraying the stress of childhood superstardom. Edison struggles with all the normal woes of being the new kid in school as well as being an expected superstar. His eventual rebellion against his mother's goals for him comes across as very realistic and possible. The story moves well, and the dialogue is very natural rather than preachy. The characters in the book are very believable, and Rayner's descriptions of each of the soccer games are so well-done that even the most novice sports fan can follow the action. Edison is a kid that every reader can look up to and identify with. Everyone experiences pressure in some aspect of life, and Edison is a good role-model for children on how to deal with those pressures.
Highly Recommended.
Ruth Sands is a freelance writer from Vancouver, BC.
Ruth Sands, Canadian Review of Materials - Vol. XIV - No. 7

Subjects (BISAC)

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