Patty Hits the Court: Game Day Book One (Patty Mills & Jared Thomas, illus by Nahum Ziersch)
Patty Hits the Court, the first instalment in the ‘Game Day’ series, is the latest in a tradition of sports stars writing for the junior crowd—this time it’s San Antonio Spurs player and Olympic basketballer Patty Mills. He’s teamed up with Songs That Sound Like Blood author Jared Thomas to create a series that will have great appeal to sports-mad readers aged seven and up. When young Patty tries out for the school basketball team, he soon discovers he doesn’t have the natural abilities of a star basketballer—he’s not very tall, for one. A few hurdles along the way have Patty reconsidering his future basketball career, but some good advice from his mum and a little help from his friends soon put him back on track. Working as a team, not giving up, and the importance of friendship are all lessons kids will take away from this series. Patty’s pride in his Torres Strait Islander heritage and his love of traditional dance also make him an interesting, well-rounded character. The first of two books in the series to be released this August, Patty Hits the Court is a book with a lot of heart, and while it might seem at first glance to have only the sporty readers in mind, the admirable themes give it a wider audience.
Holly Harper is a bookseller at Readings