Ben and Noah play on opposing teams in a footy-obsessed town. They each dream of playing on the G – and this is their make or break season. Tensions rise as sledging goes too far.Will Noah lose his cool, and his chance, in the face of prejudice? Will Ben reject racism and forge his own path? Noah and Ben have the potential to play in the AFL. It’s up to each of them whether they make it.
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This is a powerful story written in sharp prose…Download full review
I read this book in a day…whilst footy is the backdrop for this story, its central concern is family and relationships and Hyde does it really well. Read full review
I have always hated racism. I used to play with an Indigenous kid in a Housing Commission area when I was little. It was only years later I understood how badly the original owners of this country were and had been treated. I also love Australian Rules Footy and have watched and read about Black players, their lives, their families, the Stolen Generation and so on. I wanted to write a story about a black and a white kid with the dream of playing at the highest level, at the MCG. But where to start?
For many years Gabrielle had worked with Indigenous people. She suggested I contact the Rumbalara Football Netball Club up in Shepparton (Victoria). So for many weeks, months I travelled up there on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons. I heard anecdotes about the politics of the town and how that played out on the footy fields and the teams that played in the area.
One night at training I saw a group of teenage boys kicking and flying for marks. I was amazed at their ability, especially their leaping for the ball. I am not sure whether the story came to me at that moment but on the drive home I thought of a young relative, about the same age, who played footy every week and wondered how they might get on as friends and as team mates.
Thus one of my best selling books was born.