Jonny Zucker writes a footie thriller for kids

With the World Cup coming up this summer, children's author Jonny Zucker couldn't have chosen a better time to launch his new thriller. Striker Boy tells the story of a 13-year-old who gets a place in a Premiership team but has to hide his age.

He tells People: "I've written the book that I'd have wanted to read when I was 11 or 12.

"I was always imagining what it would be like to play for Arsenal. I had the idea for the book about five years ago. I thought 'How could a boy end up playing for a top club?' and I started creating this boy."

"Some people think kids won't read about football, they want to play football, but I
think they're interested in everything about football."

A former teacher, Mr Zucker's previous book for publishers Frances Lincoln had a specifically Jewish theme. Dan and the Golem is about a boy who makes a golem at school and then travels in time with it, fighting anti-semitism.

He has also written books about Jewish and other festivals. His books have sold more than 500,000 copies, been translated into 15 languages and are in the top 3 per cent of books borrowed from libraries. Mr Zucker also tried his hand at being a stand-up comedian and got through to the regional finals of the BBC's New Comedy awards .

He says: "It was a baptism of fire. The world of stand-up is amazingly harsh but I met lots of good people, including Daniel Kitson, and thankfully I never completely 'died'."

Mr Zucker lives in Alexandra Park with his wife and three children and is a member of New North London Synagogue.

He is working on a sequel to Striker Boy.

Last updated: 10:02am, April 8 2010