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>> Book set in a boot factory wins prize

Book set in a boot factory wins prize

Book set in a boot factory wins prize

A football-themed book, Kick by Mitch Johnson, has won an award for 'debut' writers who have never had a book published before.

Kick tells the story of Budi, a young boy working in a footwear factory in Jakarta. His family are poor and the working conditions in the factory very hard, but Budi remains positive and optimistic, dreaming of life as a professional footballer.

Johnson was inspired to write the story when he found a crumpled energy gel sachet in a shoebox between a brand new pair of football boots and began to wonder who had left it there.

Later, as he watched Match of the Day - where footballers earn millions of pounds - and another programme about 'sweatshops' - where people work in poor conditions and earn very little making clothes - he was inspired to write Kick.

Johnson said, "The plight of garment workers is a global issue affecting millions of people, and yet somehow it manages to remain largely out of sight. My hope is that Kick will make this problem more visible, and winning the Branford Boase will undoubtedly encourage more readers to find out about the subject for themselves, and for this I am extremely grateful."

Last year's winner, M.G. (Maya) Leonard, a judge for the 2018 award, said, "This book needs to be on the bookshelf of every school library, not just because it will encourage empathy, but because it's a great book. Mitch Johnston is definitely one to watch."

Our reviewer, Max, said about Kick, 'The main character (Budi) has a simple dream to one day play football in front of an audience and be a star - but with no money, a medical condition and a boring job stitching shoes, Budi is tied down by reality. Yet with help from his best friend and all the stories his grandparents give him, he knows that one day he could become a star!

'So I enjoyed all the descriptions and thought that went into this book to make me never stop reading it and the sense that some people aren't lucky enough to have money but still have important dreams that make them who they are.'

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