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Children's Fiction Soccer

The Starting Eleven

by (author) David Skuy

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2016
Soccer, Friendship, Bullying
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 9


Cody is no longer the kid with cancer, or the soccer player always sitting on the bench as a substitute. Then everything changes when a skilled younger player is added to the team, bringing the chance for Cody and some of the Lions to get called up to an elite team. Plus, Cody has to face down bully Timothy from rival soccer team the Storm once and for all, help Mandy deal with her family troubles — and figure out what Cody Dorsett really wants. Following the characters who appear in his very successful novels Striker and The Beautiful Game, The Starting Eleven completes David Skuy's trilogy.

About the author


DAVID SKUYis a lawyer, a writer and a Leafs fan to the core. He spent most of his childhood playing some sport or another: hockey, soccer, football, tennis and a few others. What he remembers most is the intensity, the competitiveness, and the sheer enjoyment of playing a sport you love when you’re young. He has written five books in the Game Time series, three in the Rocket Blues series, as well as the YA novel Undergrounders, winner of the Silver Birch Award. Visit him at


David Skuy's profile page


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens -- Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

"Skuy's knowledge about the game of soccer and team play is the scaffolding on which this novel is built. The game action is exciting and well written and that is what carries the story. The sequences that have anything to do with soccer and Cody's relationship with his teammates or his thinking about the game - riveting. Frankly, if Cody grows into the character I'm coming to expect, I'll be glad if Skuy follows his storyline into Premier."

Resource Links

"Skuy's story about Cody encompasses soccer, racism, mental illness, the meaning of friendship, bullying ... and more. With some well-described, exciting moments during games, The Starting Eleven covers a lot of ground at a good pace both on and off the soccer pitch."

CM Magazine

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