Winston and the Wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club by Tamsin Janu
Omnibus, 2019. ISBN: 9781760662509.
(Ages: 8-14) Highly recommended. Themes: Friendship, Adversity. Australian country town life is at the heart of this story, and its theme is the challenge to improvise when the going gets tough, while remaining positive through adverse difficulties.
Winston and his mother Carol, live in the little town of Wooba, home of Big Bread, a towering monument to local wheat farming. Winston is very proud of everything in Wooba (especially the decrepit Big Bread) and is eager to share it all with his new family from Dubbo, in particular, his new sister Macy.
But the move to Wooba dashes Macy's dreams of becoming an Olympic gymnast, and she's making her feelings known to all. How is Winston going to help Macy resign herself to living in the tiny town, and make progress towards her dream, while also saving the Big Bread and the economy of his home town. These are big challenges and Winston won't be able to rise to them alone.
The story follows the up and downs of the children as they bring adults alongside, learn lessons from life, from their friends, and from the adults who support them. And learn a lot about gymnastics along the way. Teacher's notes are available.
Long live the spirit of the Australian country town.