Wrestlefest Fever, by James Roy

Tom, his brother Harry, and his friend, Ben, love to watch the wrestling on television. They know all the moves and all the wrestlers – like Clawhammer and Beefsteak Billy. Now Wrestlefest is coming to town. Tom’s dad has promised to get tickets on his way home from work.

But all the tickets are gone – Wrestlefest is sold out! To make things worse, the school bully, Ricky Jones, bought the last tickets and he keeps taunting Tom and Ben. Ricky Jones – who thinks wrestling is dumb and all wrestlers are wusses! Will they get to see their heroes in action? Will Ricky Jones get what he deserves?

Wrestlefest is a Quick Reads title from Queensland publisher, Word Weaver Press. Quick Reads are short, fast-moving fiction titles pitched at upper-primary aged boys. Boys will enjoy the action, recognise characters like Ricky Jones, and cheer as Ricky gets what he deserves!

James Roy is a NSW writer of fiction for both younger readers and young adults. Other titles include A Boat for Bridget, Full Moon Racing and Captain Mack.

Wrestlefest, by James Roy
Word Weavers Press 2002

The Red Boxing Gloves, by David Metzenthen

Bicky and Miles can’t stand each other. Although they went to the same primary school, they were never friends. Bicky, according to Miles, thinks he is a legend because he dresses tough and his dad drives a V8 ute. Miles, according to Bicky, is a snob and a wuss because he goes to boarding school and his dad drives a four-wheel drive. It doesn’t help that Miles’ father is Bicky’s father’s boss.

But Bicky and Miles do have something in common. They both like to box at the local youth club. When a sparring session in the ring becomes too heated, Terry, who runs the youth club, offers to umpire them in a real boxing match. He even offers to bring proper red boxing gloves for them both. Both boys wax lyrical about their own strengths and their opponent’s weaknesses. They invent wilder and wilder descriptions of their opponents, trying to ignore their nervousness. On the day of the fight, Bicky and Miles have to wait together in the change room while Terry tries to locate the missing gloves.

The Red Boxing Gloves, by David Metzenthen, from Word Weavers Press, is another Quick Reads title aimed fairly and squarely at boys who’d rather be out kicking a ball, or hitting a punching bag. This is a fast moving story, with more than a touch of humour, told alternately from the point of view of the two main characters. It is sure to capture the target reader.

The Red Boxing Gloves, by David Metzenthen
Word Weavers Press 2002

The Possum Thief, by Dr Harry Cooper and Craig Graham

Kate loves her dog, Smudge, and her possum, Torchy. And Smudge and Torchy are best mates. Until now. Torchy has two new babies and Smudge keeps stealing them while the possum is sleeping. Smudge and Torchy are now the best of enemies! Even confining Smudge indoors doesn’t help. Mum and Dad decide Smudge will have to go to Grandma’s. Torchy will have to go back to the bush.

Kate needs help so she writes a letter to Dr Harry. With a bit of help from his dog Scarlet, Dr Harry soon has everything back to normal. This is a realistic story with a magical twist. Young children particularly will enjoy Scarlet’s special skills.

Fans of the television show will enjoy The Possum Thief, a Dr Harry adventure co-written by vet Dr Harry Cooper and Craig Graham (Pan Macmillan 2002) and delightfully illustrated by Mitch Vane’s lively watercolours.

The Possum Thief, by Dr Harry Cooper and Craig Graham. Illustrated by Mitch Vane
Pan Macmillan 2002

So Sick! by J.A. Mawter

Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to wear jellyfish undies? Or seaweed undies? Have you ever been so worried about taking off your shoes that you miss the chance to win tickets to the movies? Do you know what Pee Pee Poo tastes like? And what’s the connection between spelling and smelling?

This is J A Mawter’s third collection of stories in the ‘So…’ series. So Sick!, from HarperCollins, is full of itching undies, smelly, scabby feet, chook poo and a shocking case of BO. By the end of the fourth story, the reader will also know the latin name for the common snail, meet the bug that eats bacteria and learn more than one way to spell a flower!

A perfect mix of humour and horribleness, these four stories are sure to appeal. For 8-12 year olds (especially boys).

So Sick!, by J. A. Mawter
HarperCollins, 2003