Tuesday 17 March 2015

Dropping In

Dropping In by Geoff Havel (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9-781-925-162-233
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

Dropping In is such an enjoyable read; I have to admit it had me from the blurb. From the language to the storyline, it’s a thoroughly satisfying middle reader.

Sticks and Ranga live on the same street, go to the same school and love the same things – skateboarding and PlayStation. When new kid James arrives in his wheelchair, Sticks isn’t sure they can be friends. But Sticks quickly discovers they have a lot in common. Cerebral palsy stops James from doing some things but it hasn’t dulled his sense of humour – and he’s pretty brainy, too. The only thing James can’t do is join Sticks and Ranga when they go skateboarding – or can he?

Three mates, a beat-up old couch, a couple of skateboards and a steep hill … what could possibly go wrong?

Yes, what could possibly go wrong? Alarm bells! So, this scenario sets it up beautifully for an engaging read and you will not be disappointed.

The skateboard language throughout is accurate and entertaining and Geoff Havel’s voice is authentic. It does covers some pretty serious issues such as disability, bullying, ADHD and domestic abuse but it manages to do it with an honest and engaging narration, keeping the tone light.

The characters are original and relatable and it’s one of those stories you just want to keep on reading.

Dropping In offers middle-grade readers a fast paced, feel-good introduction to some seriously important subjects.

This is a highly recommended read for middle primary school readers.

Neridah McMullin is the author of six books for children. Her next book is about a horse in a bushfire to be published by Allen & Unwin in 2016. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also happens to love footy). www.neridahmcmullin.com www.neridahmcmullin.wordpress.com

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