Review Blog

Oct 29 2017

Bring it on! by Jo Stanley

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Play Like a Girl, book 1. Five Mile Press, 2017. ISBN 9781760409470
(Age: 7-9) Recommended. Themes: AFL, Girls' fiction, School life, Friendship. Play like a girl is a new series celebrating Australian Rules Women's Football, inspiring young girls to have a go, join a team and share in the fun of playing footy. Radio presenter, comedian and author Jo Stanley's novels are easy to read exploring the girls' family life, their school days, team practices and match day fun. Each book focuses on a different team member of the Milsborough West Flyers.
In Bring it On! Sarah is starting at a new school far from her friends and the surfing beaches she loves. When she enters her new class, Sarah realises just how hard these changes will be; her new classmates are football fans, last year their team was runner-up in the grand finals. How is she going to fit when she can't even handle a football? With the help of new friends Hahn and Maddie and the encouragement of her parents, Sarah begins football training. Their coach Shawna has been at Milly West for a long time and she is supportive of Sarah's skill development. "Skills are easily learned . . . but ya have to start to love what ya doing!" says Shawna as she talks about having passion for football.
Jo Stanley's characters are very relatable; she adds touches of humour, understands the difficulties of making new friends, the emotional struggles of moving house and attending a new school. This celebration of girls playing Australian Rules is very timely and is released in partnership with the AFLW.
Rhyllis Bignell

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