Bryce served a swinging serve that Fisk did well to get back into play. Bryce rushed forward and tapped the ball delicately over the net. Fisk rushed and lunged at it, but only managed to reach it after the ball had bounced a second time. He fell into the net. Bryce stood there, not a metre away from Fisk and did the most amazing thing. He reached out his arm to help Fisk to his feet.
This is the third title in The Legends series, and this time the students at Sandhurst are competing to be the Legend of Tennis. Mitchell Grady, who has already been named Legend of Surf and Legend of Cricket, is keen for a third title, but this time his mates Jack and Bryce are in with a chance too, as is the school bully, Travis Fisk
This series is a boon for sports-mad kids and for parents and teachers looking to engage reluctant readers. Each title focuses on a different sport and is self contained, but the story of friendship and overcoming bullying does stretch over the series.
Down the Line, by Michael Panckridge
Black Dog Books, 2003
The ball came fast and swinging. Aimed at off stump and gently moving away. It was a beauty. It would have troubled most good batters. But not Bubba. He took half a step back, then lurched forward and swung with all his might straight through the line. He heaved the ball up and over mid-off.
Mitchell Grady is already the Legend of the Surf, the first in Sandhurst School’s annual sporting competitions. Now it’s cricket season and Mitch wants to be Legend of Cricket as well. But the competition is pretty fierce. His friend Bubba is an outstanding batsman and his other mate, Jack, is a good all-rounder. Then of course there’s Travis Fisk, the school bully. Not happy that he’s been beaten in the surf competition, Fisk will do anything to make sure he wins the cricket title.
Against the Spin is the second title in The Legends series and continues the story of Mitchell’s year at Sandhurst, a school where too much sport is barely enough. For young sports fans there are plenty of cricket scenes as well as the ongoing story of friendship, bullying and competition.
Aimed squarely at 10-12 year old boys, this series is sure to please.
Against the Spin, by Michael Panckridge
Black Dog Books, 2003
I focused on the wave. I felt the force of it coming fast and picked up my speed. As I felt it come through, I jumped to my feet, pushing my right foot back for better balance. For a moment I was up near the curl and I had plenty of speed. I got down to the bottom of the wave and turned left. I cut back and settled on the white water, letting it take me all the way in. It was an excellent ride to get in so early.
When Mitchell Grady starts at his new school, Sandhurst, he figures every school is pretty much the same – this is, after all, his third new school in five years. But Sandhurst is a school with a difference – one that is right up Mitchell’s alley. Every year Sandhurst has a Sporting Legend competition to find the student who is best across eight sports. And Mitchell wants to be that student.
The first competition is in surfing, and Mitchell knows he has a good chance, but is he good enough? The school bully, Travis Fisk, doesn’t think Mitchell is good enough – but he doesn’t want to take a chance, and will do anything to get Mitchell out of the competition.
Chasing the Break is the first title in The Legends series, which traces Mitchell’s progress through the eight sports which make up the Sandhurst School’s Sporting Legend contest. With plenty of realistic surfing scenes and a plot which ties them together, this will appeal especially to sports-mad boys, including those who may be reluctant readers.
Chasing the Break, by Michael Panckridge
Black Dog Books, 2003
Meryet-Neith was pleased with herself. The frankincense and myrrh she had brought from the merchant were fresh and aromatic, and, after a great deal of haggling, she had obtained them at a fair price. She re-entered the harem through the front gates, passing the massive Nubian doormen, and set off through the central courtyard garden towards her workroom.
Meryet – the beautician to Pharaoh’s wives and concubines – may be feeling good about her plans to make a new perfume, but this good feeling soon passes when she learns of the illness of her friend Isis, Pharaoh’s daughter. Isis is ailing fast and neither Meryet, nor Isis’ servants, know what is wrong with her. When Isis dies, Meryet knows that suspicion may fall on her.
What follows is a tense few days as Meryet and her friends try to piece together the mystery of Isis’ death. Could someone have poisoned her or did she die of natural causes? And who would hate Isis enough to kill her?
Death of a Princess is an intriguing historical mystery, set in Ancient Egypt, during the reign of Ramses II. Author Susan Geason weaves a web of mystery and intrigue, with enough clues for young readers to unravel the mystery.
Suitable for readers aged 10 to 14.
Death of a Princess, by Susan Geason
Little Hare, 2005