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A Boy Called Bob: Becomes an AFL footballer (Bob Murphy & Tony Wilson, Piccolo Nero)

Bob is a boy from country Victoria who grew up loving footy. His first oval was actually a gravel-covered rectangle, but he dreamed of one day playing on the green grass of the MCG, or even having his own footy card. Bob is a good player who works hard, and at 17 he is drafted by the Western Bulldogs. Now he’ll work harder than ever before to make his dreams come true. In this book, Bob shares stories about sniffing footballs, playing with legends and all the highs and lows of his career. Bob Murphy is a 312-match veteran and ex-captain of the Western Bulldogs and A Boy Called Bob follows his adult memoir, Leather Soul. For this middle-grade version, he’s been paired with Tony Wilson, who has years of experience both writing about footy and writing for young people. Murphy’s anecdotes span from early childhood to his retirement, including the devastating experience of sitting out the Bulldogs’ Grand Final win with an injury. The stories are engaging and told with a light conversational tone, even though some of them deal with darker topics like hardship, injuries and failure. However, there are funny moments—his childhood story about the family’s pet cat is gross! Highly recommended for upper primary-aged footy fans.

Heath Graham is a teacher and former bookseller


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