Review Blog

Nov 08 2015

Izzy Folou: Reality Check by David Harding

cover image

Ill. by James Fosdike. Random House Australia, 2015. ISBN 9780857986634
The Rugby World Cup is a fabulous time to introduce Izzy Folou based books to a young audience whether they are fans or not as he is an integral part of the Wallabies team featuring on many a news bulletin. This series like others which feature stars from many sports, is used as a vehicle to convey messages about life as well as sport to a mainly young male audience.
Reality Check is the second book in the series following the journey of Daniel and Sione, two members of the Valley Representative team coached by Izzy Folau, on their trip to the Gold Coast to play some practice games before the State Championships.
Told in alternating chapters from the point of view of Daniel and Sione, the events of the trip, visits to the beach, training and matches are balanced with the feelings and personal struggles of the main characters as they come to terms with the expectations and responsibilities of playing and working with a team.
Sione is asked to play in an unfamiliar position, needing to quickly learn the skills needed to win a scrum and play the role of hooker instead of his usual position as winger. Already feeling incredible privileged to be playing in the team he needs to work hard to be successful. Daniel is a natural leader and very committed to the game but has to work on his interpersonal and leadership skills to ensure the team is able to work together with of course some advice from Izzy.
There is enough Rugby to keep readers more interested in sport than reading happy. The line drawings, short chapters and easy to read text make this an ideal offering to a reluctant reader.
Sue Keane

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