Going for Gold by Matthew 'Delly' Dellavedova and Zanni Louise
Illus. by Nathalie Ortega. Daring Delly book 3. Scholastic
Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781743832028.
Recommended for primary students (ages 7-11). This is the 3rd book in the Daring Delly series by Australian basketball champion, Matthew Dellavedova. A section at the back of the book includes a Q & A with the author, a biography page and a world map showing all the locations of Dellavedova's career highlights, from his beginnings in country Victoria to playing in the Olympics and the USA.
The title character in this series, Delly, is crazy about basketball and is a talented player. In this book his school is hosting the Junior Basketball Tri-Nation Tournament, with teams arriving from Japan and the USA. The visiting players are embraced by the community during the tournament-they all attend the local school for the week and most of them are housed by local families.
Dellavedova compassionately explores the highs and lows that come when children from three different countries are thrown together under pressure. The players navigate existing and new friendships and work in pairs on a basketball assignment for school, all while vying for tournament wins. They support each other through various struggles, show good sportsmanship and learn about cultural differences.
Throughout the story there are several play-by-play descriptions of basketball games which include just the right level of detail. This is enough for an enthusiastic fan to enjoy and be able to picture exactly what's happening, while not being so technical as to become boring to a non-basketball fan.
Whenever a new basketball term is introduced there is a diagram to show what that term means, and there are multiple little trivia notes scattered throughout which will interest readers who love facts.
Dellavedova's books are based on his own childhood experiences and he can proudly join other Australian sporting stars, such as Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Shane Crawford and the Selwood brothers, in having created an entertaining book for young sports enthusiasts. Themes: sport, friends.