When Saturday Comes

When Saturday Comes

By Author / Illustrator

Tony Bradman, Tania Rex


Family & Home

Age range(s)



Barrington Stoke




Paperback / softback




A young boy's relationship with his struggling dad is strained when he is forced to choose between playing football and quality time in this sensitively told story from award-winning writer Tony Bradman.

Daniel had a hard time when his parents split up and his dad started working abroad. He had to move and start at a new school, but things changed for the better when he started playing football for the Haybrook Rockets. This season, the team are in with a chance of winning the Championship, but just as things are looking up for Daniel his dad comes back and the only time he can meet up is a Saturday morning - when Daniel plays football. He doesn't want to let his dad or his team down, so what is Daniel going to do?



When Saturday Comes by Tony Bradman is a well-crafted story that tackles the sensitive area of divorce and mental well-being through a relatable theme. Life for Daniel has changed immensely, due to his parents' separation and his dad moving abroad. Daniel has moved school and home and everything that he thought was normal has been uprooted. His mom has not coped very well with the divorce and Daniel finds that he worries about her and is constantly missing out on opportunities with his new friends to make sure that his mother is ok.

However, things change for the better when he starts to play for his friend's football team - Haybrook Rockets. This year his team are in with a chance of winning the Championship. But just as things are starting to look up for Daniel, his dad decides to come back into his life. The only day his dad can see him is a Saturday, and that's when Daniel plays football. His dad doesn't understand what the game means to Daniel and insists on him missing football for bonding time.

Daniel is torn. He doesn’t want to let his dad down, but he also feels guilty for having to leave his football team at such an important stage. Daniel’s well-being takes a toll until mom steps in and encourages Daniel to understand the importance of explaining how he feels. However, Daniel still needs to make things right with his football team and show them that he is committed to helping them win the Championship.

I really like how this book openly discusses the impact on children who have seen their parents go through a divorce or separation. I like how it tackles the issues of mental well-being and how that affects children of parents who have separated because these are often taboo subjects that are not directly addressed. Some children will be able to relate to the context of the story and gain hope from it. Reluctant readers will enjoy reading the story because it is cleverly entwined in a football-related theme.

When Saturday Comes would be a good teaching resources for PSHE, but also a good story to have in the school library for children to access.

54 pages / Reviewed by Hayley Summerfield, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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