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Polar Fish

– a crime story “I am the star player. Look at me. What do you see? A girl with a bright future in international football? A girl with friends and a loving family? Well, take another look. You’ll see something very different.”

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

ISBN 978-91-27-42008-3

9 789127 420083

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Andy Coombs 10-06-09 17.30.04


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10-06-15 14.28.07


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Practice Melanie Jones opened her eyes. She was warm and in bed. Rain tapped against the window. She shivered and pulled her duvet up to her chin. Maybe she could have just a few more minutes’ sleep. She closed her eyes. Peep, peep, peep, peep. The alarm. It was six thirty. Melanie groaned and switched it off. Time to get up. ‘Time to get up!’ Dad yelled through the door. She didn’t answer him. He knocked on the door and then pushed it open. He grinned at her. ‘Come on sleepy head! Time for practice. You’ll never be a star if you sleep all day!’ He closed the door. Melanie groaned again and threw back her duvet – kicking at it angrily with her feet. 3

10-06-15 14.28.07


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• Thirty minutes later and Melanie was standing in the rain in her football kit and boots. Dad threw the ball to her feet. She trapped it skilfully. ‘So, let’s start with some dribbling. Up to the end of the field and back. You did it in three minutes twenty yesterday … let’s do it quicker today. Ready?’ Dad took out his stopwatch. ‘Go!’ As Melanie passed the ball from foot to foot and ran, she forgot she was cold and wet. She forgot that in two hours she would be in school. She only thought about keeping the ball controlled. Small kicks and fast running. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. At the end of the field she used her heel to stop the ball dead – turned and then started back. Dad was looking at his watch. As she got closer he started counting. ‘Three fourteen, three fifteen, three sixteen … three seventeen. Good job Mel! You took three seconds off yesterday. Let’s see if you can do better tomorrow.’ Dad put his hands on her shoulders. 4

10-06-15 14.28.07


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‘Remember, you’ve played well all season. But now there are just two games until the finals of the championship. We need to focus. Now, let’s do some heading practice.’

• One hour later and Mel was sitting at the breakfast table. Mum was there and so was Little Eric. Little Eric was only five and Mel loved him to bits. He believed everything she said and thought she was brilliant. Dad was upstairs taking a shower. Mel was showered and now in her school clothes. ‘Tell me about football practice Melly? Anything good happen?’ This was Eric’s everymorning question. ‘Yeah Little Eric. It was amazing. We were doing the normal practice things and then a lion ran across the field.’ Eric’s big brown eyes opened wide. ‘Then what happened?’ ‘Well, I kicked the ball right at his head but he just put his teeth in it and it burst. He was crazy. So he ran at me and I had to jump right over his head!’ 5

10-06-15 14.28.07


Polar Fish

– a crime story “I am the star player. Look at me. What do you see? A girl with a bright future in international football? A girl with friends and a loving family? Well, take another look. You’ll see something very different.”

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

ISBN 978-91-27-42008-3

9 789127 420083

star_player.indd 1

Andy Coombs 10-06-09 17.30.04


9789127420083