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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to life in the trenches, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Over the Line (Paperback)
As it's approaching exactly 100 years since the beginning of the First World War, there has understandably been an increase in the number of children's books published on the subject. I've already read and enjoyed several, including work by John Townsend and Tony Robinson. Over The Line by Tom Palmer now joins that group.

It's based on a true story (although, as Tom himself says, 'it is a novel, not a history book') about a professional footballer who plays for Huddersfield Town, Jack Cock. Jack is repeatedly told that footballers are too scared to fight in the army and that there's only one field where you can ever get honour, the battlefield. As the months pass, Jack sees many of his friends enlist in the army and, feeling he needs to help defend his country, eventually joins the Football Battalion (which consists entirely of professional footballers). After a short period of training in England, Jack is soon shipped over to France to fight.

He learns that life on the front line is a lot tougher than he could ever have imagined, and the reality of war quickly sinks in. Jack realises that not all of his fellow soldiers will make it back home safely and witnesses huge amounts of suffering and death, alongside great bravery. Jack is selected to play as a striker in the Flanders Cup, a football competition to be held between all the battalions which has been organised by the leaders of the army to help keep the soldiers' morale high. For 90 minutes at least, this competition provides him with something to focus on other than killing.

Over The Line is a great short novel and I learned a lot while reading it. The book is quite graphic in places, without ever being gruesome, and the description of the trenches paints a miserable picture of life for the soldiers on both sides. The action on the football pitch and the action on the battlefield are equally exciting and, because so many soldiers died in the war, none of the characters are guaranteed to survive. It's clear that a lot of research went into the book and it is a thoroughly enjoyable introduction, if that's possible, to the life of a soldier in the First World War. I would recommend it for children in Year 5/6, or possibly even as a class novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Over the Line (Paperback)
The item came quick n I got one happy daughter thankyou x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Over the Line (Paperback)
My ten year old girl loves this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WE WILL REMEMBER THEM....1914-18, 4 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Over the Line (Paperback)
100 YEARS AGO TODAY,THE SO-CALLED GREAT WAR KICKED OFF......OVER THE LINE BY TOM PALMER IS A FINE BOOK.THE STORY OF YOUNG AND NOT SO YOUNG FOOTBALLER'S,WHO FORMED A BATTALION UNDER GREAT PRESSURE FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC.THE FACT IT IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY ADDS TO THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOCKING REALITY THAT AWAITED THESE POOR PEOPLE.THOUGH THIS BOOK IS AIMED AT THE YOUNG, I'M MIDDLE-AGED AND ALONG WITH SOLDIER'S GAME BY JAMES KILLGORE,I FOUND THIS BOOK WELL WRITTEN,MOVING-INTERESTING,AND A GREAT INTRODUCTION OR ADDITION TO YOUR COLLECTION ON THE SUBJECT. TO THINK ABOUT LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD PREPARED TO WIPE OUT HUMANITY FOR FEET AND INCHES WHILE RECRUITING SINCERE SUBJECTS ON THE BACK OF BLACKMAIL AND LIES NEVER FAILS TO MAKE ME SICK...SHAME ON THEM!!!!OVER THE LINE VIA AMAZON UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Over the Line (Paperback)
Son loves it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over the Line, 31 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Over the Line (Paperback)
Tom Palmer's previous books have been about football and spies, so it's not a surprise that this is a story about a footballer. Not just any footballer, but also a soldier in the First World War. Add that, to the fact that this a true story, based on a real person, Jack Cock, the story takes on a whole new depth and meaning.
The realism of life in the trenches as experienced through Jack's eyes, fighting not only against the German enemy but against mud, rats and fear is not lost.
His journey surviving the war to score the first goal for England after the war, is a very inspirational and emotional one.
I think this is Toms' best work to date and a must read to help young people of today understand what it was like during the War.
For more information about the book and Jack Cock you can visit [...]
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Over the Line
Over the Line by Tom Palmer (Paperback - 15 Mar. 2014)
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