Trailblazer follows the true story of Lily Parr, one of the countries most successful footballers and, so far, the only women player to have been commemorated with a statue in the National Football Museum in Manchester. It is not just the story of a female footballer, but one of prejudice and ridicule (and that still exists to some degree in professional football with outdated views).
Overall, Trailblazer is an excellent non-fiction book telling the story of how a footballer battled prejudice to be at the top of her game and inspiring others along the way. It is perfect for football lovers, particularly girls and is packed full of facts about how the women’s game started and progressed. It also has a very subtle message that determination and never giving up will win through, even when faced with prejudice and rejection.
Whilst it is an inspirational book about girls and women playing football, it is more so about fighting prejudice, ridicule and never giving up. But it is not just a book for girls, boys will love it too. Girls and boys will take away a lot from it, they will learn that is it not just a male sport and girls can play too (and are in fact good at it and often beat their male counterparts) but also that football is a game of skill, fitness and teamwork where gender should play no role.
Along with the well-researched facts and easy to read text, Trailblazer has been beautifully illustrated by Carolina Coroa. The fun pictures will really appeal to the reader, they fit very well with the story matching the time period they represent without being dull.
Trailblazer is a very inspirational book telling a brief story of one of the most talented footballers to ever play the game and who did so with passion and panache. A truly remarkable footballer and woman. This book will hopefully inspire lots of girls to play the game whilst at the same help to break down some of the prejudices that still exist and showing that girls can play the same sports as boys, and vice versa.
So whether you already have a budding little footballer in the house or a child that thinks “football is for boys” this is a book they should read.
You can find out more about the history of women’s football at www.thefa.com/womens-girls-football/history.