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The Boyhood of Burglar Bill [Hardcover]

Allan Ahlberg
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 8.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2007
Coronation Year, 1953, and in Oldbury, a Coronation football competition is organized. It's Spencer's idea to get a team up - some of the players are good, and one of them is even a girl, but all of them are football crazy. The Malt Shovel Rovers team, despite various calamities, is ready and eager to beat off the opposition and win the cup in this funny and moving story of football and friendship, in a world when the streets were full of kids and empty of cars. Not only for boys - for girls too - of 9+, there's a real pull of nostalgia for adults as well, and, of course, for all lovers of football, whether on the pitch or in the park.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141382848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141382845
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,192,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'Allan Ahlberg is by far our best writer for the young' -- Telegraph

About the Author

Allan Ahlberg, a former teacher, postman, plumber's mate and gravedigger, is in the super-league of children's writers. He has published over 100 children's books and is the author of the prizewinning Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman. He has also written prizewinning fiction and poetry for older readers. Allan lives in Bath.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The best and worst times of my life occurred, I truly believe, before I was twelve years old. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
What a surprise, this book is lovely. Real nostalagia. Personally i can't stand football, but this book is actually about the events, people and freindships the football is pretty secondary. The story is written from the childs perspective and then reflects from the writer as an adult point of view. It reminds you of all those wonderfully silly things you said as a child like "lets call ourselves cemetry rovers, that'll SCARE the opposition". and the naughty things you did like steel as somebodys fence to make a bonfire, and the guilt of your mum sticking up for you.

It is a real pleasure when you can see where some of the larger than life characters come from in his childrens books.

Buy this book and you will get a smile on your face.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1950's Nostaglic tale 19 Dec 2010
My first book by Allan Alhberg and didnt really know what to expect from this childrens author. Previous books include Burgular Bill as a charactor and I wasnt sure if I was reading from the authors imagination or an autobiographical piece. Times online reviews this book as the 2nd installment of Allans autobiography for readers age 9+.

From the Midlands myself I enjoyed the local descriptions of places I know but as the mother of a 9 year old girl I think she would find the football story boring and the reminiscing of olden days dull. For me I found a lot that made me smile and anyone growing up in the 1950's would enjoy this trip down memory lane. The coronation cup gives a bunch of under 12's who didnt make the school team an opportunity to form The Malt Shovel Rovers, what a great name, and complete against all the odds. Would love to know if this really happened. Told from the childs point of view didnt really get gritty enough for me, just wetted my appetite.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Burglar Bill is a classic 13 May 2013
By greengranny - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If Burglar Bill isn't considered a classic it should be. It's a deceptively simple story of the author's childhood, particularly the part he played in starting a football team of 10 year old boy (and one girl) underdogs in an industrial town in the English midlands. It is beautifully written and although it's definitely suitable for children from 8 or 9 up, it is a satisfying book for adults too. This paper back edition is very nicely published.
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