'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 29 March 2012

ebook Review: Try!

Kids Book Review is delighted to host author Sharon McGuinness on blog tour with her very first chapter book - Try! 

Sharon, a teacher librarian, says - "I was inspired to write this story a few years ago because of a couple of my (then) Yr 1 students who would continually hound me for stories about rugby league. There are still none available for younger readers . . . and those two boys are now my Yr 5 students!"

Sharon has worked very hard to self-publish this chapter book for younger readers, and is making it available in ebook format - as both an ebook and flipbook.We hope you enjoy this review!

Jesse Baxter wants to play football. He doesn't want to play AFL. Neither soccer. And no, no, no - not rugby union. He wants to play rugby league - and nothing else will do.

When he begs his mum to let him play, Jesse is disheartened by Mum's reluctance - Jesse is not nicknamed 'Flea' for nothing - he's simply not built for the rough-and-tumble world of rugby league.

But finally, after much persistence (and aren't kids good at that?), his mum acquiesces.

Training day - and Jesse is so excited, a football is bouncing around in his stomach! But things don't go according to plan . . . when called on to tackle the massive tackle bag, everyone manages to knock it over - except Jesse. After throwing himself at that bag, it barely moves.

Disheartened (but not tackled) Jesse sets to practising on Dad's punching bag in the garage. He watches games on TV, he goes to a real game with his dad, and he works solidly on perfecting his tackle, so when the next game comes around . . . little Jesse performs the star tackle of the day.

The try conversion, however, is another story. 'Kicking goals isn't easy, either,' Jesse thinks, but being the dedicated and league-loving lad that he is, Jesse quickly thinks of a way to improve his game. I wonder what it is?

A book on rugby league particularly attracted me because my own 'flea' of a son has similarly been pestering his mother for years to play rugby league. And, just like Jesse's mum, my reluctance has, perhaps, been a little unfounded.

It's clear author McGuinness has read countless chapter and storybooks in her time. She has written a beautifully-constructed, concise yet evocative story that's perfect for encouraging early readers or those struggling to read. Little Jesse's struggle, dedication and triumph over adversity is inspiring, and young lads with a penchant for league will become similarly enamoured with this book.

Will I allow my own son to play rugby league after reading this book? Young Jesse and his courage may have just convinced me . . .

Try! is available on the author's website as a flip book ($5) and will be available as an e-book from 30 March ($6.95). See www.mrsmacsbooks.weebly.com for more details, and don't miss Sharon's teacher librarian website - www.mrsmacslibrary.com.

Title: Try!
Author: Sharon McGuinness
Illustrator: Cover illustration by Tom Jellet
Publisher: Mrs Mac's Books
Publication Date:  March 2012
Format: e-book
ISBN: 9781921999611
For ages: 6 -9
Type: Junior Fiction, Chapter Book