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Bestselling children's book for "reluctant readers" returns: Baller Boys 2


It's finally here! We've just received our first print copies, hot off the press, and we'd love to send you one!
Baller Boys vs The Bulldozers is a diverse, inclusive, fabulous football story that covers themes of navigating change, encouraging children to talk about their worries rather than bottle them up, understanding and overcoming conflict, learning about wildlife, nature and bird habitats, accepting people's differences, and community activism. Venessa Taylor is a former literacy and assistant headteacher, and loves the feedback she gets from her school and library visits. Most recently she attended a year seven S.E.N. group in Bournemouth and the children there, all identified as "reluctant readers" opened up about the issues they identified with in the book (ADHD, wearing glasses, worrying about fitting in etc) in a way that the teacher said had never happened before! This kind of feedback is what makes it all worth it. The book has already attracted amazing reviews from fellow authors: 'A winning combination of football fun and local community life' Matt Oldfield, author of the Ultimate Football Heroes. We can't wait to know what you think! 

Venessa, who lives in Essex, is available for media interviews. More info about the author, illustrator and book below...

And Happy Easter!

Helen Lewis
Director of LitPR and co-founder of Hashtag Press 


Baller Boys vs The Bulldozers

By Venessa Taylor, illustrated by Kenneth Ghann


A cover of a bookDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceBest friends Shay and Frankie, and their team AC United, are back for another football season, another year older, and eager for a win... The duo soon realise that nothing ever stays the same, and change is a part of life whether they like it or not - both on and off the pitch. With new team members, the threat of losing their precious home turf, and changes afoot in their family lives too, can the boys work together to stay on track... and keep winning? And, of course, who will be crowned Baller Boythisseason?


"Baller Boys is about more than football, it's about people. Young people and their possibilities. Venessa Taylor has a fresh, unique approach to writing. She is a true creative. Every character is whole."- Benjamin Zephaniah


Following in the footsteps of Hashtag Press' best-selling book, Baller Boys (May 2020), this is the eagerly anticipated sequel from author Venessa Taylor, due for release in Spring 2023!

  • The People's Book Prize Winner - Children's 2021
  • Shortlisted for The Diverse Book Awards 2021
  • Amazon Number 1 Bestseller
  • Amazon Teachers' Pick 2021


About the Author

Venessa Taylor brings two decades of experience as an inner-city primary school teacher and assistant headteacher to the creation of the Baller Boys series. Aimed at encouraging young boys to find pleasure in reading, the football-themed stories are written with young readers in mind. Born and raised in London, Venessa continues her legacy as a literacy lead in schools through her creative writing. One of her proudest career achievements was raising the standards of reading, literary engagement and attainment across the school with a focus of engaging boys and reluctant readers. Venessa researched and identified what students would respond best to in terms of content, characters and setting. She soon realised that what the boys wanted to read about was not readily available, so took the challenge upon herself to inspire and encourage more young people - boys in particular - to read.


Venessa wrote theBaller Boysseries to empower young readers, to reflect the diversity football brings in a community, and showcase different families, lives and challenges. Venessa continues to be inspired daily by her grandsons.

The stories are dedicated to her son-in-law, ‘Coach Reece', who died suddenly in 2017 - Reece Darcheville and his wife (Venessa's daughter) Shenna,were an integral part of the development of the story ideas, plot lines and characters.


Withher family'sinput and insightfrom the children she has taught over the years, Venessais proud to have crafted an authentic, original, inclusive series that she hopes all young readers will enjoy - in and out of school!Venessa lives in Essex and is an ambassador for various leukaemia and cancer charities. Venessa was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016 and is in remission despite being unable to find a donor.




Title:Baller Boys vs The Bulldozers

Author:Venessa Taylor

Illustrator:Kenneth Ghann

Genre:Young Readers, Children's Fiction, Reluctant Readers

Publisher:Hashtag Press

Publication date:May 4 2023

Availability:Paperback, eBook

ISBN: 978-1-913835-19-4 paperback

978-1-913835-20-0 eBook

Number of pages:172

Price: £6.99





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