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John Williams (1922-1994) was born and raised in Northeast Texas. Despite a talent for writing and acting, Williams flunked out of a local junior college after his first year. He reluctantly joined the war effort, enlisting in the Army Air Corps, and managing to write a draft of his first novel while there. Once home, Williams found a small publisher for the novel and enrolled at the University of Denver, where he was eventually to receive both his B.A. and M.A., and where he was to return as an instructor in 1954. Williams remained on the staff of the creative writing program at the University of Denver until his retirement in 1985. During these years, he was an active guest lecturer and writer, publishing two volumes of poetry and three novels, Butcher's Crossing, Stoner, and the National Book Award–winning Augustus.
Growing up in Derby, Rob Childs wanted to be an England footballer or cricketer, or failing that, a sports journalist – certainly not a teacher. Of course, he did go on to become a teacher, during which time he gained a great deal of experience coaching school teams in football, athletics, cricket and cross-country. He is now a full time writer and draws on this experience for his stories. He is best known for his successful The Big Match series, the Soccer Mad, Phantom Football and County Cup series in Yearling and for the popular Great! and Wicked series for Corgi Pups.
"Absolutely heroic, and something every guy should read." (National Ambassador for Young People's Literature emeritus Jon Scieszka)
If anyone understands the phrase "tough luck," it's Harrison. As a foster kid in a cruel home, he knows his dream of one day playing in the NFL is a long shot.
Then Harrison is brought into a new home with kind, loving parents—his new dad is even a football coach. Harrison's big build and his incredible determination quickly make him a star running back on the junior high school team.
On the field, he's practically unstoppable. But Harrison's good luck can't last forever. When a routine sports injury leads to a devastating diagnosis, it will take every ounce of Harrison's determination not to give up for good.
The football season may be drawing to a close, but Luke Crawford - skipper, player-manager and coach of the Swillsby Swifts Sunday League team - is still full of running . . . when he's not tripping up over his own feet! He's also still full of ideas and dreams. Luke's new sweeper system for the Swifts relies on the unpredictable talents of his Italian cousin Ricki, but will it be too late to save them from relegation? Luke would dearly love to win a medal in the school Cup Final too, if only he's given the chance to get on the pitch.
One thing's for certain. With soccer-mad Luke on the loose, there are bound to be plenty of shocks in store for everyone before the final whistle blows . . .