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August 10, 2016
You may recognize Frank Lampard as the quick-footed midfielder for the New York City FC, but did you know he’s also an author? In Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball Series, Frankie and his soccer team are taken on some wild adventures, all thanks to an old soccer ball they won at a carnival.
Frank recently sat down with us to talk about his childhood spent as a reader, how his career as an athlete led him to become a writer, and how he encourages his own kids to read today. Read on for more about Frank.
Were you always a reader?
I’ve been a reader since as long as I can remember. My parents always encouraged me to read for enjoyment from a young age. Football and reading were always my favourite things.
What books did you read as a kid?
I’d read most things I could get my hands on from comic books and annuals through to all the Roald Dahl novels. Two classics, Treasure Island and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe I really loved.
What book turned on your love of reading?
Of Mice and Men, which I read at school around the age of thirteen was a book that I remember being amazed by and I still love it to this day as one of my favourite books.
You’re so busy on the soccer field, what motivated you to become a writer off the field?
I am really busy with soccer, but we do have a lot of down time travelling and preparing for games. I found coming up with stories and writing as something I could do to spend this time enjoyably and productively.
What do you think sports and reading have in common?
Sports and reading are both fun and rewarding. There are so many choices you can take in both. You can choose your favourite sport or type of book and it’s completely up to you. Both are a great way to spend your free time.
You have two daughters. Do they read your Frankie books while you’re writing them?
I read my books with my girls and speak to them regularly about ideas for future books. They love trying to help me find different adventures for Frankie and his gang.
Does your family have any reading traditions?
In my family we always try to encourage reading. I like to read with my girls for a while and then leave them to read alone before bedtime. Also we like to give books as gifts and encourage them to save their pocket money so they can choose their next books themselves.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice for aspiring writers is to enjoy using your imagination to come up with new stories. Writing is a completely individual thing. No one can dictate what you need to write about so use your own mind! If you get stuck writing a story take time out and come back to it later. Sometimes the best ideas come when you do not expect them!
What about aspiring soccer players?
For aspiring soccer players I would always say that you have to enjoy playing first and foremost. After that you have to practice as much as you can to improve your game. Particularly your weaknesses!
You can find the Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball books on Reading Club flyers and online now!
PLUS, a giveaway! We’ve got an awesome, soccer swag-filled giveaway from the New York City FC! Answer this question on Facebook for a chance to win a set of four tickets to an NYCFC home game (at Yankee Stadium), an NYCFC hat and bag, and a full set of Frankie’s Magic Soccer Ball books! Giveaway ends at 11:59PM ET 10/9/15.
[Official rules here. NOTE: New York City and Tri-State Area residents encouraged. We are not responsible for transportation or cost of transportation to the NYCFC game.]
About the Author: Megan Kaesshaefer Manager of Special Projects and Social Media at Scholastic. Avid reader. Lover of the outdoors, oysters, and Oprah (sorry about the O’s). Approximately three minutes late for everything. You’ll find me blogging about our various literacy initiatives (specifically Open a World of Possible and the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge), education news, social media hubbub, and other bookish things. Oh, and anything pertaining to twins. ‘Cause I am one.
Image credits: Frank on the field: New York City FC; Frank as a kid: Mrs P. Lampard; Frank & kids reading in bed: Christine Bleakley.
October 7, 2015