Rising Star by Scott Prince & Dave Hartley
Deadly D & Justice Jones, Book 2. Magabala Books, 2014.
(Age: 10+) Scott Prince admits to his lack of interest in reading until he picked up magazines devoted to NBA basketball and his sporting hero, Michael Jordon. He explains in the foreword to this book that this series is meant to engage the reluctant reader using rugby league as a 'hook'.
Eleven-year-old Dylan has moved with his family to Brisbane from Mt Isa. Life is a challenge for him at home and school but his involvement in sport helps him greatly, particularly when it is found that he has been cursed - when angry, he becomes like a grown man. This is obviously a great asset to the game.
Told in the first person present tense, every detail of play is given, along with some great observations about his team mates, including a strong anti-bullying stance.
Home is important and Dylan notes the need to care for the natural environment.
The language is rough at times, but this series has considerable merit and it is worth consideration by teachers and parents.
Magabala Books has supplied Teachers' Notes which are available from its website.