Tony Wilson (text) and Mike Jacobsen (illus.), Hit the Road (The Selwood Boys (starring Troy, Adam, Joel and Scott Selwood), book 3), ABC Books, 160pp., March 2017 $14.99, ISBN: 9780733335471
This junior novel series focuses on the childhood of the four Selwood brothers who have all enjoyed successful AFL careers. In Book 3, Hit the Road, the family set off from their Bendigo home for a holiday on the Gold Coast.
Many kids will be able to relate to the long car trip, playing silly games to pass the time, and the sibling rivalry and ribbing which is central to the story. Joel, the third brother, is a gun at most sports and the others decide that this holiday they’ll find his ‘kryptonite’. When they finally discover at Sea World that Joel has a crippling fear of heights, it’s revealed in good humour.
‘Scary rides aren’t a bad kryptonite to have!’ Mum said. ‘Not many of us spend that much of our lives on roller coasters!’
That shut Adam and Troy up for a moment. Mum walked away.
‘She may have a point,’ Adam said.
Troy shrugged. ‘Maybe. I dunno. Don’t really care. I’m still gonna hang it on him.’ (p. 131)
Designed to fill the Specky Magee market, this taster was an entertaining little read with enough footy for sports fans, and enough family relationship drama for regular readers. Tony Wilson has taken his inspiration from the Selwood boys, who have shared their tales of growing up, and this authenticity shines through.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher