Well, everyone, the time has come…


Firstly, thank you so much for all the brilliant reviews of Skills From Brazil. Hundreds of you have joined in with the competition, sending me your reviews from all over the country. They have been funny, brilliant, impressive and a joy to read.

If I could, I would name you all individually but please know that I have read every single one.

In the end though, as Mike Johnson might say, life is about decisions and the winning review is by Ed Gent.

Ed, congratulations and I’ll be in touch about getting you your signed England Shirt. I have published your review below so that everyone else can enjoy it.

Thanks again to all who took part. I’d like to do more competitions in the future so let me know if you have any good ideas…


Review of Skills from Brazil
By Ed Gent (Age 11)

Skills from Brazil is an absolutely extraordinary book, a mixture of exciting, heart-stopping, funny, intriguing and amazing.

Jamie Johnson is about to play in an annual match, Year 6 Students V Teachers, at school. Just like every year, the school get to vote for who they want to be Captain of the Year 6 side. But this year, the Captain had to be him. Until a new football fanatic joins the school. Are Jamie’s hopes of being Captain ruined? In the end Jamie becomes the best friend of this new student. The student’s name is Rafael da Cruz. One thing makes Rafa special – he is Brazilian!

They both go on an amazing footy experience to the football capital, and da Cruz’s Brazil. After learning ‘Skills from Brazil’ Jamie and Rafael both travel back to England for the big game. Will the trip 5,880 miles away be worth it? Or will JJ’s form crumble just at the wrong moment?

Jamie Johnson is an eleven year old boy with Foguinho hair. He has one dream. To be a footballer. It looks like it may come true as JJ is the best footballer in the whole school, so, will a trip to Brazil and being best friends with a football fanatic bring him closer to what he has always wanted?

Rafael da Cruz is another huge football fan. Although he has barely played the sport, he understands it better than some Managers in the Premier League do. He came to England and joined Jamie’s school for a new experience. After becoming BFF with the future footballer, where will this lead him?

I think there are many highlights in Skills from Brazil. The best of which probably just has to be the friendship between Jamie and Rafael. I love how at the start, you think that they would be enemies, and yet at the end, it is ludicrous to think that!

I think the only low-light is that it didn’t last longer!

I absolutely loved this book. It is proven, as I admit that I read the whole book in three hours. I recommend it to people any age, even those who despise football! I guarantee that everyone will enjoy it, it is a book not to be missed. I will give Skills from Brazil 4½ out of 5. The only reason why it isn’t a 5 is because nothing can be perfect, there is always room for improvement.

All in all, I will never forget Skills from Brazil, and I know that you won’t either. This is a one way ticket to one of the best countries ever, so don’t miss out!



19 Responses

  1. hi Dan, this was a well dizouved person to win. Im really exited because you are coming to my school, Fairlop Primary.
    by Callum Glanville

  2. An amazing review Ed – well done! What a great prize to win. Something you can enjoy for many years to come! Keep writing, you’re obviously very good at it.
    Susan Rickard

  3. Hi Dan!
    We love this book review and we give it 10/10! We have loved this competition and the writing one we had in school, but we now have some ideas for you for other competitions:
    1. Write a script and make a film about The Kick Off so other people can learn about Jamie Johnson and your stories.
    2. Write a story, or the start, to follow on from Skills from Brazil.
    3. Predict JJs future – does he get to play in the World Cup in the future?
    4. Write about JJ being transferred to Seaport and what he does to help them get better.
    5. Write how JJ could be even better in the games he plays.
    6. Plan and explain a dream team for Brazil (or England) to help them win the next World Cup! Could include some children from our school who would be good enough but we would have to tell you how and why!!

    From all the children in 3SR

    1. These are brilliant! I think number 1 is my favourite…and what (realistic) prizes do you think we should try to put on offer?!!

      1. We have lots of ideas for prizes:
        1. Win a signed World Cup Football – signed by England or the winners.
        2. Win a signed copy of Skills from Brazil – or if possible your whole set of JJ books signed by you.
        3. If we enter as a class, could the prize be a visit from you Dan to help in our English class?
        4. Visit from a famous footballer – Steven Gerrard or Messi maybe – but nobody who might bite!
        5. A visit from the England squad who could play a game with the school team (maybe not that realistic!)

        What do you think?

        Mrs. Rickard’s English set

  4. Hi Dan,

    Ed here, the lucky competition winner! I would just like to say a MASSIVE, MASSIVE thank you for choosing me as the winner, there will be champagne all round tonight!
    I am so pleased to have won, especially as I am on holiday at this very moment in Wales. (Sorry JJ!)
    I had to keep begging my Mum for her phone, and I’m sure I was the first to see the result, constantly refreshing the page at 6.59, so for me to be the winner was an absolute dream come true.
    This is also a good start, as as a job I would like to be a sports journalist, so to be picked first out of hundreds of people on a football report competition, things look good for a decade’s time!
    And the shirt, as well! Just to win made me happy, so for there be a shirt just so happened to be signed by the best football players in England made me almost faint!
    Again, thank you SO, SO much and I’m looking forward to wearing the shirt with pride.


    1. Congratulations Edward!! I have your contact details so I’ll sort out getting the shirt to you asap!! Well done! Dan

  5. Hi Dan,
    I just wanted to say what a wonderful book review that you had chosen and loved word to word it was just a phenomenal review!

    do you know if your going to do another phenomenal competition about one of your books?

    Lucy Symes

    1. Thanks Lucy – I agree Ed did a great job. Yes, open to more comps – any ideas?

  6. Great person to win love the amazing writing good idea to choose ED he should of do a lot more like

    from jade

  7. hi make a seventh book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. and then call it extra time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Hi Dan, I have been working on my very own JJ book, and it is a sequel to Final Whistle, and named Feet of God.

    Here is the first chapter.

    Chapter 1

    Jamie Johnson kissed the badge of his Barcelona shirt. He was back. Back from Hawkstone.

    He had been loaned out to what he called his ‘second home’ from the great Spanish club for 10 games, scoring as many goals, including a hat trick against Real Madrid in the Champions League Semi Finals, and five, a world record, goals in the 5-3 victory over Munich in the final, winning the famous trophy for a club that survived relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season.

    But now, he was back. ‘Penalty to Barcelona!’ the journalist commentated; ‘No question who will take it, on his return back to Spain. Here comes Jamie Johnson. Oh Yes! As cool as you like! Johnson stuttered in his run-up, waited for the keeper to dive, and, with that, he smacked in the top corner of the other side. 3-0 to the league leaders, and boy, have Barca missed Johnson, and boy, aren’t they happy to have him back!’

    The sun was shining in August, and Barcelona had just sealed a 3-0 victory over rivals Athletico Madrid to go top of the table.

  10. Hey Dan your books are the best books i have ever read in my entire life. I wish you could come to our school!!!

    1. Thanks very much! I’m pleased you like my books. You will have to ask your teachers about a visit!