The Champion Charlies: The Mix-Up by Adrian Beck
Ill. by Adele K Thomas. Random House, 2018, ISBN 9780143791249
(Age: 6-9) Themes: Soccer, Sports. "The Champion Charlies" series has been developed in partnership with Football Federation Australia promoting teamwork and the enjoyment of the game.
When Principal Swift announces that football is cancelled twenty minutes before the first training session starts, everyone is shocked. Charles 'CJ" Jackson and Charlotte Alessi, captains of the boys' and girls' teams can't believe this devastating news. Last year, both teams had worked hard and won their grand finals, CJ and Charlotte's photo had appeared in the local paper under the heading 'the Champion Charlies'.
What was the principal doing? The whole class discussed the dilemma during Science with Mr Hyants (Highpants). They decide to start a petition demanding that their favourite sport is reinstated. The principal explains that several families have moved and there aren't enough students left to make a boys' and a girls' squad; the only solution is a mixed team.
Both Champion Charlies must get over their personal rivalries and work together to help form a new Jindaberg Primary football team. After Principal Swift and Highpants announce this new plan at the Alessi house during a girls' team party, (which CJ has crashed) the competition is on. CJ presumes he's the new captain planning training sessions whilst Charlotte is determined she will be in charge.
"The Mix-up" is full of excitement, games, humour and pranks, plenty of football tips and family fun. With a coach who loves karaoke, dads who love dancing and performing during half-time and an enemy determined to stop the Jets from winning, this is a great story for young sports fan. Adrian Beck's easy-to-read style, great characters and Adele Thomas' humorous cartoons reinforce positive messages of working together, active listening and valuing each other's skills and abilities. A great start to a new series focused on sport and sportsmanship.