Dazzling Zidane Football Skills: Akka

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, Jamal Orme, Team Spirit

Today it’s the fifth and final skill from Amir Zidane’s bag of tricks, as performed in The Victory Boys sequel Team Spirit.

Remember to keep visiting www.thevictoryboys.com for content like this and more!

 

After learning the roulette last time, we go street soccer today with the knee akka.

Read how Amir befuddled his opponent in Team Spirit, as he

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Here’s how to perform the akka (click to enlarge the image)

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Take a look at this video to see current Tottenham player Jan Vertonghen’s casual akka while in training at Ajax!

[Both Kube and Jamal Orme can vouch only for the video (on the date of posting), and not the comments posted beneath it]

 


Jamal’s first book The Victory Boys is available here
The Victory Boys: Team Spirit is available to pre-order now! Coming to Kube 5th June 2015

Dazzling Zidane Football Skills: Roulette

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, Jamal Orme, Team Spirit

Today we learn the fourth of Amir Zidane’s five favourite skills, as performed in The Victory Boys sequel Team Spirit.

Following on from the elastico, we present the roulette, made famous by Amir’s namesake: former Juventus, Real Madrid and France midfielder Zinedine Zidane.

Here’s Amir performing the trick in Team Spirit:

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And here’s how you do a roulette! (click to enlarge the image)

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If you want to see a double roulette like Amir’s, check out this video for a wonderful example by Yannick Ferreira Carrasco!

[Both Kube and Jamal Orme can vouch only for the video (on the date of posting), and not the comments posted beneath it]

 


Jamal’s first book The Victory Boys is available here
The Victory Boys: Team Spirit is available to pre-order now! Coming to Kube 5th June 2015

Dazzling Zidane Football Skills: Elastico

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, Jamal Orme, Team Spirit

We are sharing five of Amir Zidane’s favourite skills, as performed in The Victory Boys sequel Team Spirit. These all feature on www.thevictoryboys.com where you can also find more exclusive content and resources.

After mastering the rainbow flick, you’ll be ready to have a go at Amir’s third skill, the elastico, a trick Amir uses to mesmerizing effect in the book:

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So, here’s how to do it! (click to enlarge the image)

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Watch this video for a fabulous elastico by Cristiano Ronaldo (although the less said about the cross that followed, the better!)

[Both Kube and Jamal Orme can vouch only for the video (on the date of posting), and not the comments posted beneath it]

 


Jamal’s first book The Victory Boys is available here
The Victory Boys: Team Spirit is available for pre-order, coming to Kube June 2015

Dazzling Zidane Football Skills: Rainbow Flick

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, Jamal Orme, Team Spirit

We continue to learn new football skills as featured on www.thevictoryboys.com – these all come from Jamal Orme’s upcoming The Victory Boys: Team Spirit, available from Kube from June 2015.

Having learned the rabona last time, our second skill is the rainbow flick, a trick we find Amir putting to good use in his first Shabab training session:

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Here’s how to do it! (click to enlarge the image)

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Check out this instructive rainbow flick video from Daniel Cutting, skills specialist.

[Both Kube and Jamal Orme can vouch only for the video (on the date of posting), and not the comments posted beneath it]

 


Jamal’s first book The Victory Boys is available here
The Victory Boys: Team Spirit is available for pre-order, coming to Kube June 2015

Dazzling Zidane Football Skills: Rabona

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, Jamal Orme, Team Spirit

Over the next five days we will be featuring posts from www.thevictoryboys.com – the website dedicated to Jamal Orme’s The Victory Boys and its upcoming sequel.

Each post will bring a new footballing skill, as performed by Amir Zidane in The Victory Boys: Team Spirit!

Up first is the rabona:

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Here’s how to do it! (click to enlarge the image)
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You might also like to check out this instructive video, courtesy of the ‘YourHowToDo’ channel on Youtube

[Both Kube and Jamal Orme can vouch only for the video (on the date of posting), and not the comments posted beneath it]

 


Jamal’s first book The Victory Boys is available here
The Victory Boys: Team Spirit is available for pre-order, coming to Kube June 2015

Jamal Orme: The Victory Boys Sequel

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, Jamal Orme

Read our short interview with Jamal Orme about his upcoming book and the influences behind his writing

Today is World Book Day and to celebrate we caught up with Kube author Jamal Orme to talk about his upcoming book The Victory Boys: Team Spirit, a further tale about faith and football and their role in adolescent Muslim experience.

Team Spirit continues the story from Jamal’s writing debut, and will speak to all young Muslims about faith, community and identity.

As Shabab Al-Nasr prepare to defend their trophy, in walks Amir, a player good enough to win it on his own! But for all his stunning skills, is he ready to become one of the team? And with Ibrahim battling jealousy and low self-confidence, can the Victory Boys find that winning team spirit once more?

Recommended for ages 9+

 

Kube: The Victory Boys is an enjoyable and accessible tale for young Muslims who might associate themselves with Junayd’s story. What inspired you to write this book in the first place?

Jamal Orme: A few things, really. The main one was the notion that it’s easier to be yourself if you don’t have separate identities in your life. In the story, the imam of the mosque suddenly gets the idea to connect the boys’ two worlds: their football obsession, and their identity as young Muslims, something they are struggling to generate the same enthusiasm for. It seemed to me that often the reaction when children are caught between those two worlds is to almost become two separate people, and not to feel comfortable about themselves, or even to really know themselves. The imam, whose well-intended approach to training children has always been very rigid, surprises himself, and I think it’s clear that the boys benefit from him more as a result.

I should add that I was also running a football club, which began as a club for Muslim boys but extended beyond that, so that undoubtedly helped to plant the seed of a plot in my head as well!

 

K: On World Book, UNESCO is seeking to promote reading among young people. How has your experience in education helped you to engage with a younger Muslim audience?

JO: I was a primary school teacher and a peripatetic teacher in primary schools for quite a few years, working in a multicultural London school, two schools for Muslim children, and a number of schools in Sussex. There’s a fairly well-established stereotype that boys don’t particularly like to read, and while that’s a pretty sweeping generalization, I could see that boys need to have something they’re interested in for them to want to pick up a book. I could be wrong, but my perception is that the amount of literature targeted at boys (or, at least, primarily at boys) has increased over the last decade or so. However, while these books are usually very well written and, on the whole, moral and positive, there are elements to them that aren’t perhaps 100% suited to the sort of ideas that some Muslim parents and teachers have about what is best for their children. I have tried to combine elements that I know these boys are interested in with messages about familiar and interesting
problems,without compromising those moral ideas.

 

K: What can we look forward to from the sequel The Victory Boys: Team Spirit?

JO: Team Spirit focuses on what happens to the team’s dynamic, and the personal self-esteem of its individuals, when both are threatened. We meet an important new character, Amir Zidane, whose stunning skills are a source of great concern for the existing team members. We see how they react, and find out whether the issue is enough to wreck their chances of retaining the trophy they won in the first book!

 

The Victory Boys: Team Spirit is a forthcoming release from Kube expected May 2015

 

Jamal’s first book, The Victory Boys, is available here (also available as an eBook)

For more content about Jamal and his fiction visit The Victory Boys website:  http://thevictoryboys.com

 

World Book and Copyright Day (UNESCO)
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/wbcd

“Through its Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions […] UNESCO is seeking to promote reading among young people and marginalised groups”.

 

Illustrating Hurayrah the Cat ~ A Word from the Artist Alex

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books

Alexandra Nyerges is a young American illustrator with a ton of talent. Kube commissioned her to work on Hurayrah the Cat: The Snake Catcher in 2012, a book that has finally been published (two years later) and is being enjoyed by children all over the world. During the process of briefing her and fine-tuning the illustrations she actually had high-school to attend, and a bright future at college to consider, which is why we asked her to share her experience.

Character sketches

Character sketches

“Working on Hurayrah the Cat: The Snake Catcher was my first experience illustrating a children’s book. I learned that communication is the key when working on such projects, and as long as you are open-minded and clear when explaining what ideas you have, both you, and your publisher, will have a lot less stress.

“I found that writing notes next to the thumbnail drawings I sent Yosef, the editor, were especially helpful.  I was able to quickly draw a scene and then note a few reasons why I drew it a certain way, or show multiple possible scenes and write what I thought was good or bad about each idea.  These thumbnail sketches were my favorite part of the process because it’s how I got to ‘know’ Hurayrah.  I thought, “How would Hurayrah see the world?  What would he see when he surprised some pigeons? How might he clumsily climb a wall.”  I loved exploring these scenarios.

“When I started the project, I was concerned about being swamped with work from both school and the book.  At one point, homework did start to pile up and I was worried I wouldn’t meet the drawing deadlines.  However, with Yosef’s

Storyboard sample

Storyboard sample

encouragement and understanding, I was able to balance both schoolwork and drawing.  I am aware that if I pursue illustration in the future, I may have to work to stricter deadlines and I might not have as kind an editor/publisher at my side.  Which is why I’m extremely grateful Yosef was patient with me.  I think it really made a difference because it meant I could spend less time stressing out over juggling my commitments, and more time making Hurayrah extra colorful and exciting.  I also received a lot of encouragement and support from family, teachers, and friends.  They all eagerly awaited the books release right alongside me.

“Now that I have, Hurayrah the Cat: The Snake Catcher on my bookshelf I am delighted to have experienced the entire process of illustrating a children’s book, from its very first script to its final print.  And for that I have Yosef to thank for considering me and sharing with me his wisdom and patience!  I could not have made this journey without him taking time to look at my art and selecting me to illustrate a little cat wandering Madinah in search of his beloved Abu. “

Final pencil picture

Final pencil picture

Alex continues to illustrate in her spare time and posts the pictures she imagines on tumblr.

If Hurayrah becomes everybody’s favourite cat we have plans to ask her back to work on more projects. Possibly even one involving the Prophet Muhammad’s camel, Qaswa.

See a sample of Hurayrah the Cat: The Snake Catcher here.

An interview with Na’ima B. Robert about her forthcoming book SHE WORE RED TRAINERS

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books, News and events

This article was commissioned and published by Books for Keeps. Read the original article here.

Naima B Robert

 

 

 

 

 

Na’ima B Robert is ‘descended from Scottish Highlanders on her father’s side and the Zulu people on her mother’s, was born in Leeds, grew up in Zimbabwe, went to university in London and now ‘divides her time between London and Cairo’. Unsurprising, then, that her novels trade in contrasts and conflicts: between cultures, youth and experience, artistic and academic, religious and secular. But her new book, She Wore Red Trainers, is a love story. Geraldine Brennan talked to Na’ima about the book for Books for Keeps.

She Wore Red Trainers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A long hot summer waiting for A-level results, a cute boy and an opinionated girl – does a romcom-inspired plot have to be any less page-turning because the characters are Muslim?

Na’ima B Robert believes not, but her portrayal of Amirah and Ali’s growing relationship in She Wore Red Trainers, her fifth young adult novel, reflects life for contemporary young Muslims whose contact with the opposite sex is structured by the traditions of their faith and community.

So the instant physical attraction between Amirah and Ali cannot be acted on overtly: they cannot be alone together (even making eye contact is frowned upon) and it is assumed that their relationships are the business of their families.

Amirah’s influences include her divorced mother, a convert to Islam whose unhappy experiences have turned her daughter away from the early marriage that many young Muslims choose. Meanwhile her traditionally minded brother Zayd, who is responsible for approving her future husband, has rejected Ali as a potential suitor on a first meeting.

Na’ima has rooted the love story firmly in urban British Muslim culture, to offer both a story that teens growing up in this culture can relate to and a challenge to preconceived ideas about attitudes to marriage and relationships in Muslim families, such as the tradition of arranged marriage. As founding editor of the UK Muslim women’s magazine, Sisters, Na’ima is aware of the wide spectrum of interpretations of tradition, ‘more cultural than religious’, as she says.

‘I’m not saying that all Muslims live like the families in the story, but I have tried to be true to the community I am writing about and where young people I know are coming from,’ she says. ‘In a family that is functioning well the family would be highly invested in the girl’s future but it would start from what the girl really wants and she would have a space to understand and articulate that and discuss it in depth.

‘There are many variations within this. Amirah’s family is not functioning so well, her brother doesn’t understand her and her mother makes some bad decisions because she doesn’t have a lot of supportive relatives around. Zayd feels the responsibility of a father but he doesn’t have a lot of life experience and his default position is that he wants Amirah to marry someone like himself.’

But Amirah is a rebel and rejects the man Zayd chooses for her. ‘Hassan is a catch but her gut feeling says no: the gut feeling is important however you meet future partners,’ Na’ima says. ‘In an ideal world your family would understand everything you needed in a husband – in Amirah’s case this is someone who really gets her artistic side, which Ali does.’

The ‘nobody-understands-me’ misery that afflicts both Amirah and Ali is common to all teens, and Na’ima’s own teenage years in a westernised high school in Zimbabwe (she converted to Islam at 21) taught her the benefits of a more segregated environment.

‘There was pressure to cultivate a personality that boys liked. I would see girls switch on the bimbo button when boys were around and laugh at boys’ jokes whether they wanted to or not. I was at a mixed school and at 14 asked my parents to send me to a girls’ school. I found the constant pressure too much.

‘Surviving dating, the uncertainties and the heartache, and somehow keeping your self-esteem intact, is very hard for teens. It’s one of the biggest things you have to deal with at a time when you need a space to grow up and be yourself, find out who you are.’

Amirah has also tried and rejected a more mainstream teenage lifestyle and chosen to navigate relationships within Muslim culture. As in all good romcoms, she finds the space she needs with her girlfriends, who support her plan to stay single until she has made the life she wants as an artist. Although the girls have compiled a league table of fanciable boys, the lack of male companions at their café meetings, summer charity projects and glitzy nights out is presented as a benefit rather than a deprivation, as Na’ima says.

‘For Amirah and her friends, the decision is made that guys aren’t going to be part of the picture at the moment. Dating and romance is not taking up their time, it’s for later.’

Yet the story, with all its disappointments and misunderstandings between the couple who survive on a word here and a glance there, is still deeply romantic: ‘just a different kind of romance’.

Na’ima’s first readers were Muslim teenagers in Cairo where she lives for part of the year with her husband and four children. ‘They found the British teenagers different to themselves in their references to Islam – in Egypt it’s not consciously discussed in the same way. But they saw where the characters and relationships were coming from. I consciously went for a very dramatic ending and I’ve heard that many people cry at the end.’

She Wore Red Trainers is published by Kube Publishing.

Geraldine Brennan is a journalist specialising in children’s books and education, regularly reviews for theObserver and has judged several literary awards.

Introducing Hurayrah, the local Madinan tabby cat

Written by site_admin on . Posted in Children's Books

On the streets of Madinah a small orange cat scampers around. Often wondering when Abd al-Rahman, his friend commonly known as Abu Hurayrah, will play with him next.

But, on this day, Hurayrah has lost his friend and during his search a slippery snake appears.

Have a look at the sample of this adventurous new book that introduces children to Madinah, Qaswa the Camel and Hurayrah, the heroic cat.

 

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