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The Academy


by T. Z. Layton


An inspiring, page-turning series perfect for young readers 7 to 13 years old, and for sports fans of all ages.

Born and raised in a small town, Leo K. Doyle has never seen the ocean or stepped foot on a plane. But Leo is a star soccer player with big dreams in life.

Rock-star, Olympic gold, dragon-slaying dreams.

While Leo has a pet lizard named Messi and longs to make the pros one day, he has no idea how to achieve his goal—until a professional scout pays a chance visit to one of Leo’s games and extends an invitation to try out for the London Dragons youth squad, known as The Academy.

Leo is stunned. The London Dragons isn’t just any old soccer team. It’s a world-famous English Premier League team. Soon Leo is off to a whole new country, embarking on the greatest adventure of his life. The downside? Only eleven players can make the team.

Eleven out of two hundred of the very best youth players on the planet.

Along with the grueling competition, Leo must also face a bully intent on torpedoing his summer, a roomie who doesn’t know how to have fun, a terrifying camp director, and, most of all, Leo’s own lack of formal training and the fear he’ll never succeed. By the end of the summer, Leo will become a much better player and forever changed by his experience.

But will he be good enough to make the Academy?