GOOAALLLL!!! COME YOU ROCKETS! COME ON YOU LIONESSES!
'Lily and the Rockets' is an engrossing, timely and heartwarming tale of following your dreams while history thinks otherwise. This is hugely enjoyable but also so wise and full of points for discussion; it would be perfect for classes learning about World War One and the role of women in society.
In 1917 Lily Dodd dreams of becoming a professional goalkeeper. Fortunately, as men are off to war, women have the chance to play and draw in crowds like never before. Starting work at the Arsenal munitions factory, Lily helps form a team, the Rockets, with her workmates. Soon she draws great attention, but as the war comes to an end will Lily's dreams of becoming a professional goalkeeper end?
This is such a wonderfully realized story. Rebecca Stevens expertly and vividly captures the atmosphere of a foggy London during the Great War with ease; completely absorbing the reader in the time. Lily is a superb protagonist and such a fantastic role model for girls, and boys, who want to pursue dreams against the odds. Lily is strong but vulnerable and a kind of misfit, which makes her such a joy as a narrator. At points I welled up with emotion. There are passages of such subtle emotional beauty, particularly in the relationship between Lily and her father. My daughter is also called Lily and she has just learned to kick a ball, so at points I was nearly in tears. However, Stevens also builds excitement and suspense so well. I used to like being a goalkeeper as a kid and her descriptions evoke the feeling of being in goal so clearly.
With the Women's World Cup drawing more and more attention at the moment 'Lily and the Rockets' deserves to rocket up the charts too. I implore every girl and boy to read this and cheer. Rebecca Stevens has scored with this. I will have to somehow get a signed copy for my daughter at some point!