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Go Adventuring Ages 8-12

How can a game of football be dangerous?


Jack Burnside is about to find out.


Jack, who shares his name with the soccer superstar, Jack Burnside, is a keen footballer. When his best mate, Saleem, fails to return after a visit to his home, there is little Jack can do about it, until he receives a mysterious parcel in the post. It takes him on a journey to a land ruled by sun and peopled with tyrants, sorcerers and giant crows.

Now he must find Saleem, coach a team of boys for a football match – and stay alive!

… which might prove very difficult indeed if your only ally is a cantankerous camel.

The first book in the trilogy, the Jack Burnside Adventures, was originally titled: A Dangerous Game of Football,

There is a bit of my life in every one of my books!


When I visited a camel market in Omdurman, in the Sudan,I bought four wooden animals from a wood carver. The camel, who sits on my dressing table, became Bud who was my favourite comic character until Capstick from Lions of Trafalgar came along. On another occasion I met a magic man in Cairo and I put him and his magic in Bird Children.

An age-old legend – A sorcerer entombed in ice – and five jade medallions stolen from their resting place by retreating Japanese soldiers – form the background to this fantasy adventure set in England in 1959.


A thousand years ago, with magic and sorcery dominating the Mongolian Empire, Zheng-Li, a powerful sorcerer, attempts to overthrow the emperor with a vast army of monsters. Five Javvean, from a race of magical warriors, offer to rid the empire of his evil presence but a hundred years passes before the last monster is wiped-out and Zheng-Li captured. Recognising the sorcerer’s awesome power cannot be destroyed, the Emperor orders him sealed in a vast icy ravine deep in the heart of the interior, to be guarded by the warriors. To help in their task, imperial sorcerers create five pieces of jade powerful enough to stop Zheng-Li ever escaping. Centuries later, with the story passed into legend; tales still exist that wherever great evil raises its head, so the five warriors will appear.

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