Football books can very easily become formulaic, dull – and male dominated. So it’s refreshing to see the girls of ‘Girls FC’ take to the pitch for a series of stories by Helena Pielichaty. In What’s Ukrainian… we meet Nika and follow her through a World Cup tournament.
Unlike many books of the genre where there is usually a predictable plot line (eg the side just go one down by half time and the underdog saves the day), this title has a well handled story that manages to keep the football well explained, well narrated and well in its place. Ultimately it’s a book about language, identity and solidarity but it skilfully interweaves the tournament, with proper score tables and all the excitement of group stages.
As far as the ‘Here come the girls’ series goes, it’s good to see them put in such an interesting appearance.