The Cockies of Manatu Island, by Judi Pope

‘What on earth…?’ Mum gasped as she walked into the room.
‘We’ve been robbed,’ Corey gazed wide-eyed around the room. ‘Wow! I’ve never been robbed before. Do you think the robbers are still here?’

Corey and Mikaela are rapt to be going on a family holiday to Manatu Island. But on their first day someone breaks into their apartment. The resort managers tell them that it is probably cockatoos doing the damage – but until they see it for themselves, the family doesn’t believe it is possible. Once they are convinced, they set up a video camera to see for themselves what is going on.

The Cockies of Manatu Island is a yellow level reader from the new Breakers series from Macmillan. Aided by the comic-style illustrations of Tom Kurema, the story is a fun holiday tale, suitable both for classroom use and for private reading. Animal tales are always popular with kids, and the unusual nature and setting of this one will appeal.

The Cockatoos of Manatu Island, by Judi Pope
Macmillan Education, 2003

Who Says Girls Can't Play Football,by Judi Pope

Jac (short for Jacqueline) Jones loves football. She can talk about nothing else. She eats, drinks and sleeps football. And, despite being a girl, she plays football for the under eleven team. When Jac gets the chance to be the mascot for her favourite football team, the Wolves, she thinks all her dreams have come true. She will run onto the field with the Wolves and she’ll get to meet all the players, especially her hero Steve Steen.

Then disaster strikes. Jac chases a ball onto the road and is hit by a speeding car. When she wakes up three days later with a broken leg and arm, she realises she has missed her chance to be the Wolves’ mascot. She’ll never get to meet Steve Steen and she may never play football again. Things turn around, though, when Steve Steen himself pays her a visit in hospital. The two are soon firm friends.

Who said Girls Can’t Play Football? is a fun read for 10 to 12 year olds. It is nice to see girls playing (and being good at) less traditional sports, and to see other pastimes such as chess given a look-in as well. The importance given to family and friends (new and old) is another positive dimension of the book.

Who Said Girls Can’t Play Football is a sound read for classroom or private reading.

Who Said Girls Can’t Play Football, by Judi Pope
Macmillan Education, 2004