Book: Goalden Girl by Tracey Moraitcategories: Book, Football, Soccer, Sports Fiction, Young Fiction, Children's Book
Tracey Moraitabout this book: Goalden Girl is the story of promising young footballer, Gemma Sutherland, whose life is turned upside down when her widowed dad remarries and they move to another part of Liverpool. Her new stepmother, Shelley, is loud and a bit of a chav; she has a young daughter of her own, Portia, who she spoils, and Gemma hates them both. Not only that, they don't play girls' football at Gemma's new school, Naylorsfield Comprehensive, so, with the support of young games teacher Mr Cassidy, Gemma starts a campaign to get football introduced onto the sports curriculum. Mrs Lawford, the head of games, is opposed to the idea, as is Tyrone Collins, Shelley's nephew and one of the stars of the school's First Eleven football team. Tyrone does everything he can to stop the girls from playing.
Meanwhile, at home, all is not well in the Sutherland household; just what is the mystery surrounding Shelley's past, and will Gemma ever learn to get along with Portia?
Goalden Girl took a year to write and was self-published through Lulu in 2007, inspired for my love of the Beautiful Game. I love football (Liverpool FC is my team) and for a long time I wanted to write football fiction. The book is aimed for readers aged 9-12. Goalden Sky, the first sequel, was published in 2014. The title is a play on words – 'goal'den, to reflect the football angle. I aimed to write an enjoyable, light-hearted story about my favourite sport, adding a background mystery as a sub-plot and another challenge for Gemma.
My husband designed the cover to portray a young girl playing the game. Although I know enough about football, I wanted to make sure I got the rules correct, so I did some research on websites.
One of the things I did learn from writing Goalden Girl was to have a good dictionary to hand and to make sure I knew how to spell unfamiliar words I'd heard in conversation, but never saw written down, especially slang words. I found the Urban Dictionary useful as well as the news sites like the BBC and the Guardian (if a journalist can't spell properly...!) A couple of my spellings are alternative spellings (thankfully found in dictionaries!) but for later books I have taken more care.
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