The Penalty

Sammy Brown

The Penalty by Mal Peet left me hanging after each chapter, and made me want to read more and more every day. Paul Faustino, one of the best authors in all of South America, is back in this thrilling, nail biting, and exhilarating book, The Penalty. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of mystery or sports.


The Penalty is mainly about a fantastic soccer team of teenage boys who are about to win the biggest game of their young careers, or so they think. The best player on the team El Brujito, (the Little Magician) is called out to the white painted dot, to kick what could be the game winning goal. With just seconds left to play, El Brujito steps back, takes a lighting leap towards the ball, and smack! As the ball floats in the air, speeding towards the goalie, he jumps and reaches for the ball, Poof! A sound that almost every striker hates, the sound of the ball being smacked out of mid-air by the goalkeeper. El Brujito watches as the other team picks up their goalie and cheers, he felt horrible. The next day El Brujito was nowhere in sight, and after hours and hours of searching the team became worried. That’s when the team knew they had to call Paul Faustino, the greatest news reporter in all of South America.
Mal Peet, the author of The Penalty, is a creative and talented author, and this is shown often throughout the book. Mal Peet’s writing style is very descriptive. For example Mal Peet states “He is wearing a Deportivo San Juan soccer jersey.” “It’s red and black quarters have faded, and it is ripped at the seam below the armpits.” “One of his imitation Adidas sneakers is splitting along the seam of the upper and the sole.”And the lace of the other has been replaced by green nylon string.” The characters in The Penalty, specifically Paul Faustino, the main character, have a quiet and dark personality. Since the characters have such a dull personality this creates a very mysterious and spooky theme for the reader.