Review Blog

May 12 2014

Billy Slater presents . . .series by Patrick Loughlin

cover image

Random House Australia Children's, 2014.
Billy Slater 1: Try Time. ISBN: 9780857982469.
Billy Slater 2: Banana Kick. ISBN: 9780857982667.
This series from Random House is going to be a knock out success with younger readers, particularly boys, especially as rugby league season ramps up into full swing.
Simply but well written, with lots of turn-the-page action and realistic characters and settings, these will see reluctant readers particularly fully engaged.
In Try time, Josh is ten years old and is finally allowed to join his local footy team, the West Hill Ravens - urged on by his league-obsessed grandfather. After all his anticipation, Josh' first game is pretty much a disaster with embarrassing sideline barracking from grandad, and fluffing the potentially winning try. As he wonders if he has what it takes to make a good team member, his all-time favourite player and NRL legend, Billy Slater, turns up at training and gives the boys a few pointers. He also agrees to be their special mentor. What more could a team of ten year olds want?
In Banana Kick, Billy Slater continues to support the West Hill Ravens as their mentor which is great news for Junior - the team's youngest but biggest player. While it's great for the team that Junior is their top score maker, it's hard on him to feel that he is only recognised because of his size. Billy's new team challenge seems to only make things worse - or does it? It seems Billy has a lot of good advice to offer these young aspiring players.
Billy Slater is arguably one of Australia's best ever league players (and yes, I have often wished he played for MY team!). He is also a well-regarded player especially in these times when our professional athletes can often be disappointing role models.
I think it's a tremendous combination to have Billy promoting reading alongside this fabulous sport, so popular with our primary aged students. With two more titles scheduled for release in a few months, this will be one series that will very likely be in high demand in your libraries.
Read what Billy has to say about reading here.
Sue Warren

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