All Stars Series

I was already having a bad day when Josh Reeves, basketball hero, fell for me – literally. Did I mention I was having a bad day? Make that a bad year.

There are plenty of sports fiction books for children on the market, but, with many focusing on male-centered sports like football and cricket, it is refreshing to find a series aimed squarely at girls. The All Stars series, published by Black Dog Books, is just that.

The eight books in the series share the fortunes of a girls’ netball team – the All Stars – as they work their way through the season. Each book is told from the point of view of one of the players and, as well as sharing the girls’ on-court dramas, also focuses on their school and private lives, with each girl having her own set of problems, from boy problems, to shoplifting.

There is plenty of sporting drama, and the first person narration draws readers in to the life of each new narrator. This series would be an excellent addition to a school library.

All Stars 1: Maddy, Goal Defence, by Meredith Costain
All Stars 2: Bree, Centre, by Karen Tayleur
All Stars 3: Josie, Wing Attack, by Meredith Costain
All Stars 4: Jess, Wing Defence
All Stars 5: Sarah, Goal Shooter, by Claire Renner
All Stars 6: Tara, Goal Keeper, by Maryann Ballantyne
All Published by Black Dog Books, 2005

All Stars 7: Mel, Goal Attack, by Karen Tayleur
All Stars 8: Ali, Goal Attack, by Meredith Costain
Both Published by Black Dog Books, 2006

The Phantom Mudder, by Darrel & Sally Odgers

Jack’s Facts
Dogs don’t do anything if there’s nothing in it for them.
People sometimes do.
That makes dogs smarter than people.
This is a fact.

Jack Russell is a fact loving dog. So, when there is a mystery to be solved he carefully establishes the facts then, with a dash of luck, comes up with a solution.

In the Phantom Mudder Jack visits a dog show, with his owner, Sarge. When dogs start turning up for their judging covered in mud, Jack senses a mystery and sets out to solve out. But who would want to mess up the dogs, and how would they do it?

This is the second hilarious title in the Jack Russell: Dog Detective series and is just as clever as the first. There are plenty of cute doggy illustrations, courtesy of illustrator Janine Dawson, and the use of a variety of text-types, including lists, glossaries and maps, which add an element which could be used for classroom purposes.

Loads of fun.

The Phantom Mudder, by Darrel and Sally Odgers
Scholastic Australia, 2005