Assemblies are pretty much the same everywhere, even first day of the year ones.
I should know. This was my third new school in five years. Big pack of kids.
Teachers standing round the edges. A few mums holding babies.
We were sitting in a hall. Preppies were way down at the front looking nervous and excited, and the big kids – the kids in their final year – up the back here, with me. None of the kids around me looked nervous … was I the only new kid? I took a deep breath and tried to focus on the speaker out the front.
Mitchell Grady is the new kid at school. At his new school, Sandhurst Primary, there’s a tradition – every year, the two upper year level students can compete in individual sports to become a ‘legend’, and if they chose they can compete in all sports to be ‘Legend of Sport’. Mitchell is good at sport, this just might be his way into this new school. But Travis Fisk is already ‘Legend of Sport’ from last year and he’s intent on repeating his win by whatever methods necessary. Chasing the Break is set at school camp by the sea, and the sport that may or may not be included in the championship is surfing.
The Legend Series has been written (according to a note at the front of the book) particularly with sports-lovers in mind. They are full of sport detail and short enough to read quickly. They are told from the perspective of new kid Mitchell and allow an outsiders look at the culture of the school he’s just joined. Mitchell’s voice is a mature one and there are nods to his beginning interest – purely platonic – in some of the female sports students. Extras include a contents page, a quiz, statistics and more. Re-jacketed and with a new publisher, Chasing the Break will find a new readership, particularly amongst the sporty kids.
The Legend Series 1: Chasing the Break, Michael Panckridge
Ford Street Publishing 2016
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller