When dreams and footy merge

TITLE = TYGER, TYGER

AUTHOR = MICHAEL HYDE

GENRE = FOOTBALL, GROWING UP, FAMILY

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10, 11

Johnny Carbonne is feeling the pressure. Johnny has been promoted to the Seniors in the same club where his father played. Johnny’s dad (Sam) was a great footy player and is well remembered by the old timers in the club, including the coach. But Sam died in his prime, when Johnny was only 7, so Johnny feels the weight of is heritage. On top of this he is not playing well at the minute, a footy scout is interested in watching him play and then, to top it all off, he gets injured.

When dreams start disturbing his sleep, it seems a good time for Johnny to head down to Tassis to visit his grandparents and see the site where his father died. Will the trip south provide him with answers or just up the ante even further?

A compelling book about footy, families and tradition.

Recommended (dma) ****

Struggling with grief

TITLE = MAX

AUTHOR = MICHAEL HYDE

GENRE = GRIEF, GROWING UP

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10, 11

When his best friend takes his own life, Max doesn’t know how to cope. At first it seems like he is intent on risking his own life: daring the cops to catch him when he goes out to tag walls on his own, running headlong at trains, kayacking accidents in the river, getting into trouble at school. His friends and family are uncertain how to help and even Max can’t explain his own actions let alone his feelings.

Michael Hyde has written a compelling story about the pain and grief of losing a friend and the confusion that is felt by those left behind. Read more about the author on his website.

Given the themes and language in the book, this novel is probably more appropriate for older readers.

Highly Recommended (dma) ***** 

How to survive love, friendship and grief

TITLE= Looking for Alaska

AUTHOR= John Green

GENRE= Identity, Growing Up, Coming of Age

A truly engrossing first novel by acclaimed (and prize winning) author, John Green. Cleverly structured – with the countdown before and after a shocking event in the narrator’s life – and beautifully written, this novel stands out from the many teen angst driven young adult books currently in print. For this is more than a teenager falling in love for the first time, more than the lonely nerd finding friendship. Miles has bravely left home to attend boarding school in his search for “the Great Perhaps”. He soon falls under the spell of Alaska, a troubled and unpredictable spirit, burdened by a family tragedy yet so often the bright spark who ignites those around her. As his friendship with Alaska and the Colonel develops, Miles must learn what it means to be a true friend, how to deal with love and loss, how to find a way out of the labyrinth of guilt and grief and how to find hope. A powerful and moving novel; at times full of sadness, at times wryly amusing and with more than a hint of “Catcher in the Rye”. A novel that will speak to both teens and adults alike. A deserving winner of the Inky Award and the Michael L. Printz Award. Read more about the book, the author and some of his other novels and quirky thoughts. Or read a teen review of this compelling novel.