Shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2012
Ross is fed up with being on the losing side, as Bruntsfield Primary football team suffer another humiliating defeat. But after football practice each week he goes to visit his grandmother, and this week she has a special present for him.
Pat digs out a pair of old football boots and strip which belonged to her father, who once played for Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Ross is amazed that his great-grandfather, Jack, had played for the famous Hearts. As he finds out more about Jack, an incredible story unfolds -- a tale of Edinburgh's young heroes and a battalion of footballers and fans who fought in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme.
Based on the true story of the 16th Royal Scots, otherwise known as the 'Hearts Battalion', this moving book brings a fascinating moment of Scottish history to life. Jim Killgore interweaves the present day life of an ordinary football-mad boy with a story of young men who volunteered for war. He focuses on the friendships that develop as the lads play football and learn to become soldiers together, making this remarkable story enjoyable and accessible for young people.
James Killgore was born in New Orleans in 1959. He studied both in the USA and England, where he met his wife Ann who is from Ayrshire. Jim worked in New York as an editor on a children's science magazine before moving to Edinburgh in 1987. He is now a magazine editor in Glasgow, and has two children. Jim has written two previous novels for young people: Buck Falaya and The Passage.