Michael Panckridge, Clearing the Pack (Legends, #4), Ford Street Publishing, March 2017, 148 pp., $14.95 (pbk), ISBN: 9781925272642
Michael Panckridge, Down the Line (Legends, #5), Ford Street Publishing, March 2017, 128 pp., $14.95 (pbk), ISBN: 9781925272635
These (re-published) titles are for students in the later years of primary school. The first is about football and netball, the second about tennis. There are details about each game as they are played out by the boys and girls, and the certificates they are given for their skill. Sport is at the centre of the story, although there is a sub-plot involving a secret room in the library. I don’t think this will be resolved until book 8, The Final Lap. Some of the detail is in the form of tables which give rules of the games, how the school monitors the games, scoring, and results. There are quizzes about tennis, netball and football.
Characters are either good or bad. Good if they are on Mitch’s side; bad if they are on Fisk’s side. There is poor sportsmanship and winning kudos, loyalty to Mitch’s team, dirty tricks on the other side. Panckridge is writing to engage the sporty kid whose is not keen on reading, and his clear and kid-friendly text is likely to achieve just that.
Reviewed by Stella Lees