Army&You asked five-year-old Gabriel Rousell-Crate, whose dad is a soldier, to review Secret Agent Oliver and the Football Foe Fighters, the first of a new series of books by Rachel Hayward. With a little help from his big brother Dylan (11), here’s what Gabriel thought of The Mysterious Shadow

“This amazing read takes you from the dawn of the dinosaurs to the world of space, all within a few pages.

“It all starts with a boy called Oliver, Southdale United’s biggest fan, who goes to the shop to buy a new football game for his console. After completing the game in only two hours, a man appears. We imagined him to be like the one in the ‘Uncle Sam’ posters when he says to Oliver, ‘we need you!’ and tells him he is going to be a spy.

“Oliver was our favourite character (he completed a video game in two hours so automatically has our full respect). It was a great shock to us that by completing a football game you could become a top spy and we couldn’t guess what would happen next. The book kept us both gripped and hurrying with our reading to turn the next page. However we did find it pretty easy to guess Kevin’s horrid secret.

The Football Foe Fighters is a very good book and we definitely recommend it to absolutely anyone who likes football and adventures. All our school friends will love it.”

Secret Agent Oliver and the Football Foe Fighters, The Mysterious Shadow, aimed at five-to-eight-year-olds, is available from Connie Stokes Publishing priced £6.99.

Reviewers wanted

Would your youngster like to write a book review for Army&You? We’ve teamed up with Reading Force, a shared reading initiative for Forces families, for a new regular feature in the magazine in which young writers, from infant school age through to teenagers, will pen their thoughts on the latest children’s releases.

Look out for the launch in our winter edition and if your child would like to take part in a future issue, email and we’ll be in touch.

You can find out more about Reading Force at

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