Booklists

Challenge Level : K-2 Challenge Level : 3-4 Challenge Level : 5-6 Challenge Level : 7-9 Challenge Level : 9plus

Star This title also appears on the 9plus booklist.

Hash This title is usually read by students in Years 9, 10 and above.

ID Title Author  
863865

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Able
Dylan Alcott has never let his disability get in the way of what he wanted to achieve. His family treated him no differently to any other kid, and it was the best thing they ever did. Growing up, Dylan always had a positive attitude to life. So when he discovered sport, he'd have a go at anything and could always be found at the centre of the action, giving his best and playing to win. Then he tried wheelchair basketball and tennis and was hooked. Fast forward ten years or so, and the now three-time Paralympic gold medallist, Order of Australia recipient, world No 1 tennis champion, Logie winner and philanthropist combines elite sport with a love for music. But Dylan's greatest passion is changing the way those with disabilities are perceived, and to inspire young people - whether they have disabilities or are able-bodied - to achieve their dreams. It's a passion that drives him every day of his life. Usually read by students in years 9, 10 and above.
ISBN 9780733340550
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2019
Alcott, Dylan
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8804
Bend it like Beckham
A novelisation of the film screen play in which a young Indian girl's talent for soccer is discovered. The issues, of cultural expectations of girls and the problems of living between two cultures, are raised.
ISBN 9780340860946
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton, 2002
Dhami, Narinder
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66698
Best ballgirl, The
When Kristen discovers that her tennis hero, Maggie Stephenson, is playing in a tournament at her tennis club, she is desperate to be chosen as one of the ballgirls. But, her arch rival, Sally, looks set to sabotage Kristen's chances of appearing on centre court and to steal the guy that she likes a lot.
ISBN 9780143305743
Series Aussie chomps (17 books)
Publisher Puffin Australia, 2011
Flynn, Pat
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9287
Billy the kid
Billy doesn't think or act his age. His memories of his days as a Chelsea striker and his interests keep him younger than he seems.
ISBN 9780007105472
Publisher Collins, 2002
Morpurgo, Michael
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751105
Blazewrath games
Lana Torres has always dreamt of playing for her native Puerto Rico in the Blazewrath Games, a dangerous relay of dragon riders fighting and racing for glory. When the cup is jeopardised by the Sire, a legendary dragon cursed into human form, Lana finds herself navigating an International conspiracy and a world that's deadlier than her beloved sport.
ISBN 9781645670797
Publisher Pan MacMillan, 2020
Ortiz, Amparo
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6807
Blood sports: Fletcher Smith, sports P I
Fourteen year old Fletcher Smith is a sports private Investigator, working out of the Institute in Canberra. With his adult side-kick, Frank, he takes on a case to solve the kidnap of football coach, Kelvin Hunt.
ISBN 9781741690200
Publisher Scholastic Australia, 2008
Harlen, Jonathan
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846195

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Blood, sweat & steel
In 2012, Combat Engineer Curtis McGrath was serving in the Australian Army in Afghanistan when, in the line of duty, he stepped on a land mine. Just months later, Curtis was up and walking on prosthetic legs, motivated by the opportunity to march with his unit in their welcome-home ceremony. Kayaking gave him a new sense of purpose and a year later, Curtis captained the Australian team at the inaugural Invictus Games in London, founded by Prince Harry for wounded, injured or ill veterans. Then, within four years of his injury, Curtis won gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Now a ten-time world champion gold medallist, Curtis is passionate about the power of sport to transform lives, he's ready at last to share his extraordinary story, and how he has approached every setback and challenge with courage, resilience, humour and grit. Usually read by students in years 9, 10, or above.
ISBN 9780733340789
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2021
McGrath, Curtis & Phelps, James
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1017746

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Champion: a memoir of tennis and teamwork
This is a tennis story. It is a family story. It is a teamwork story. It is the story of how Ash Barty got to be who she is today. It is her story about the power and joy of doing that thing you love and seeing where it can take you. This book reflects on her whole tennis journey, from the first time she picked up a racquet to packing her bag after winning the Australian Open in 2022. It explains how she worked through self-doubt, homesickness and a break from the sport to realise her tennis dreams, winning Wimbledon and ranking number 1 in the world. Ash is hoping her story will inspire you to follow your dreams.
ISBN 9781460762738
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2023
Barty, Ash
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846272
Climb
Deserted by her father and kept in the dark about her brother's accident, high schooler Ashley Davies has her own secrets. When she enters a forbidden rock climbing contest to teach her bully a lesson, she ends up uncovering old wounds about her family's connection to another's heartache. Climb is a coming of age story of resilience, grit, and self-discovery.
ISBN 9780645252002
Publisher self-published, 2021
Barker, Philip
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846240

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Coming up for air
Tom Daley captured the hearts of the nation with his unforgettable medal-winning performance in the London 2012 Olympics. At the 2020 Games in Tokyo, he triumphed to win gold and became the most decorated British diver of all time. In this deeply personal book, Tom explores the experiences that have shaped him and the qualities to which he owes his contentment and success; from the resilience he developed competing at world-class level, to the courage he discovered while reclaiming the narrative around his identity, and the perspective that family life has brought him. Usually read by students in years 9, 10, or above
ISBN 9780008217914
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, UK, 2021
Daley, Tom
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76333
Dangerous games: Fletcher Smith, sports P I
Fourteen year old Fletcher Smith is a private investigator, working for the Institute of Sport. Trouble has found Fletcher since his father died in mysterious circumstances. Hired by rising cricket star Tom Baker to retrieve a lucky pig's foot, given to him by Don Bradman, Fletcher finds himself fighting for his life in the dangerous underworld of Australian sport. To crack this case, he'll need to battle killer sea wasps, a ruthless hitman and a deranged tennis prodigy.
ISBN 9781741691443
Publisher Scholastic Australia, 2008
Harlen, Jonathan
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689221

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Dragon hoops
From small steps to great leaps ... Gene understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn't get sports. As a kid, his friends called him "Stick" and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realises that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons's lives, but his own life as well. Usually read by students in years 9, 10 or above.
ISBN 9781626720794
Publisher Pan MacMillan, 2020
Luen Yang, Gene
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15942

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Exposure
The controversial marriage of Otello, black football star, and Desmerelda, socialite and white pop icon, attracts jealousy and betrayal. The poor, street kids like Bush fight just as desperately for their family to survive. Realistic street language and drug references. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 and above.
ISBN 9781406306491
Publisher Walker Books, 2008
Peet, Mal
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18579
Fire in my soul
Running is everything to James who considers winning the only option. However, fierce competition from a new student and the threat of bushfires may help James to see there is more to life than wanting to win.
ISBN 9780734408648
Publisher Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd, 2006
Corbet-Singleton, Paul
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12590
Footy dreaming
Ben and Noah play in opposing teams in a footy-obsessed town. They each dream of playing on 'The G' and this is their make or break season. When an ugly sledging incident occurs in a match, Ben and Noah's worlds intersect and a fledgling friendship develops. But, their friendship seems impossible as Noah faces racial prejudice and Ben must decide whether to reject the racism, which is even coming from his own family.
ISBN 9781925000993
Publisher Ford Street Publishing, 2015
Hyde, Michael
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9369
Footy Lady, The: The trailblazing story of Susan Alberti
No tragedy and no challenge has proved too hard for Susan Alberti. The woman from the working-class suburbs has battled boardrooms, courts, lymphoma and adult diabetes; and, was one of the driving forces behind the AFL's move into women's football. This is a story of passion, generosity and a woman who will inspire you to take on the seemingly impossible and triumph.
ISBN 9780522872576
Publisher Melbourne Press, 2017
Asher, Stephanie
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660617
For cap and country
22 Australian Test players , past and present , talk about the road from their backyards to the baggy green. More than just a chat with the game's best players, (male and female), this is a conversation about Australian cricket. At the heart is the baggy green. This book is about the importance of generosity, sportsmanship, perseverance and community to help achieve personal goals in life, as much as sport.
ISBN 9781460752517
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2019
Hogan, Jesse & Auteri, Simon & Faulkner, Andrew
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147
Front runner
This is a story about families and Robbie, who loves to run.
ISBN 9781862912748
Publisher Scholastic Australia, 1995
Carroll, Jane
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35270
Gracie Faltrain takes control
Gracie Faltrain is back and she couldn't be happier. Her team won the Championships, she scored a few goals and a boyfriend, as well. Just as she's settling down to a new season of soccer, the stakes are raised. Coach has entered the team in the Firsts - a boys only league. To prove herself, Gracie has to fight harder than ever before. The other teams will do anything to keep her out of the game, and if she makes it, they'll do anything to see her lose. But Gracie is sick of losing. She's sick of seeing friends, like Martin and Alyce, unhappy. Gracie decides it's time to take control and even the score for everyone, on and off the field.
ISBN 9781760784270
Series Gracie Faltrain series NEW (99 books)
Publisher Pan MacMillan, 2006
Crowley, Cath
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36907
Half the battle
AFL at Port Road High is off to a shaky start. The hardest thing to do is organise a bunch of misfits into a cohesive team.
ISBN 9781862916777
Publisher Omnibus Books, 2006
Henderson, Don
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4511

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Harper effect, The
Harper Hunter doesn't know how it came to this. Her tennis dreams are collapsing: her coach says she doesn't have what it takes to make it in the world of professional tennis. Her new doubles partner is moody, mysterious and angry at the world. What is he hiding? She is in love with Jacob, but he is her sister's boyfriend. Or, he was. Harper could never betray Aria with Jacob, could she? As Harper's heart and dreams pull her in different directions, she has to figure out exactly what she wants. And just how hard she's willing to fight to get it. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 or above.
ISBN 9781760552091
Publisher Pan MacMillan, 2017
Bashford, Taryn
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846198
How to pick a fight
Jimmy might be small, but he knows what he wants and that is to be a world champion wrestler. His family are much too busy in their own lives to really hear what Jimmy has to say, and when he sets off on his journey to chase his dreams, it takes a while for people to notice. Jimmy certainly has his share of adventures and learns a lot of hard lessons before he finds his way.
ISBN 9781910620786
Publisher Penguin Random House Australia, 2021
Kaminoff, Lara
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3

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In lane three, Alex Archer
'I have always known that in another life I was-or will be-a dolphin. I am a pink human, caught in a net of ambition and years of hard work. In a few minutes I will dive into artificially turquoise water waiting at my feet. A minute later I'll either be ecstatic or a failure.'Fifteen-year-old swimming champ Alex Archer has her mind set on one goal-competing in the Olympic Games in Rome. Alex has been training hard for six years--but so has her archrival, Maggie Benton. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 or above.
ISBN 9780141301280
Publisher Puffin NZ, 1998
Duder, Tessa
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657280
JT: the making of a total legend: YA edition
As a young Brisbane kid, Johnathan Thurston was written off as too skinny, too slow and too wild to play rugby league professionally. But he defied the odds to become one of the game's greatest players. In this young readers' edition of his bestselling autobiography, follow his journey from his debut with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2003, to State of Origin star, and to total legend of the game.
ISBN 9781460758618
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2019
Thurston, Jonathan & Phelps, James
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483

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Keeper
El Gato, one of the world's greatest football players, tells the story of his life growing up in the forest in South America and of the ghostly keeper who taught him how to play soccer. Some adult themes. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 or above.
ISBN 9781406304107
Publisher Walker Books, 2006
Peet, Mal
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225
Last shot, The
Steve is a brilliant basketball player with a conflict to solve involving family and his achievements.
ISBN 9781862913165
Publisher Scholastic Australia, 1997
Baillie, Allan
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16445
Life and times of Gracie Faltrain, The
Goal-kicking, super-girl, soccer star. Gracie Faltrain is on her way. To the National Championships. To Nick. To everything she's ever wanted. Or so she thinks. Gracie's about to find out that life is messy. And hard. And beautiful. There's a shadow falling across her mum and dad. Her best friend is about to leave town. She's trying desperately to be with the right boy, on the edge of falling in love with the wrong boy. She's rushing headlong into screwing up, making up, trying to keep it all together. Welcome to the life and times of Gracie Faltrain.
ISBN 9781760784263
Series Gracie Faltrain series NEW (99 books)
Publisher Pan MacMillan, 2004
Crowley, Cath
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46537
Lucy Zeezou's glamour game
Not all is froth and bubble in Lucy's celebrity world. Her parents are on the verge of breaking up over some earth-shattering rumours and Lucy must come to terms with their fallibility and her own. Lucy juggles the cat walk, the soccer pitch, the high life and the good life as she learns the value of relationships.
ISBN 9781864719734
Publisher Random House Australia Pty Ltd, 2010
Deep-Jones, Liz
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689227
More than a kick
AFLW player Tayla Harris was at work on the footy field when she kicked a goal. A photo of the kick, taken by Michael Wilson, showcased her incredible ability and was posted online. What happened next was an extraordinary turning point in Tayla's life. The photo quickly became iconic as Tayla stood strong against the online trolls. This is the inspiring story of Tayla's stellar sporting career and her hard-earned advice for navigating the ups and downs of social media.
ISBN 9781760525804
Publisher Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, 2020
Harris, Tayla & Castles, Jennifer
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2937
More than gold
As thirteen year old Bosnian refugee, Raiko, trains with an Aboriginal mate, Jay, his Olympic dream quickly draws both the local doctor and soccer coach to his side.
ISBN 9781876289478
Publisher Margaret Hamilton, 2000
Heffernan, John
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3116
Netball or nothing
Rachel's goal is to play netball for Australia but she has a lot to learn about being a team player.
ISBN 9780207199608
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2000
Hellard, Bernadette & Gibbs, Lisa
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638653
Nice girls don't play footy
More than anything Devi Sharma wants to win the upcoming BollyOz competition for her mum. Then she'll be on her way to becoming Bollywood's first ever Australian half-Indian, sort of Kiwi, quarter Scottish, Vaisnavi vegan superstar! Then Devi starts AFL lessons at school and she's surprised to find she has talent...and a feeling she hasn't had in a long time. Can Devi convince her family to let her play AFL when nice girls don't play this football and her mum thinks it will risk her winning BollyOz? With the help of her best friend in the whole entire universe, Josie, Devi needs to come up with a plan so she can play footy like she wants and light the fire in her belly once again.
ISBN 9781742769226
Publisher Scholastic Australia, 2019
Helidoniotis, Kathy
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9368
Nips go national
Flushed with their multicultural cricketing success in NIPS XI, the team goes interstate to watch the Aussie team practise on the holiest turf in cricket, the MCG. They are also invited to an important cricket carnival.
ISBN 9780734404749
Publisher Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd, 2003
Starke, Ruth
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277
Nips XI
The boys at North Illaba Primary School form a cricket team. The team includes students from different cultures and they combine to celebrate their common interests, not their diversities.
ISBN 9780734401137
Publisher Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd, 2000
Starke, Ruth
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97736

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Penalty, The
As the city of San Juan pulses to summer's sluggish beat, its teenage football prodigy El Brujito, the Little Magician, vanishes without trace. Paul Faustino, South America's top sports journalist, is reluctantly drawn into the mystery. As a story of corruption and murder unfolds, he is forced to confront a bitter history of slavery, and the power of the occult. Includes some adult themes. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 or above.
ISBN 9781406309362
Publisher Walker Books, 2007
Peet, Mal
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660510

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Perspective
From the lessons of a high-performance athlete's career to appreciating the small things in life - this inspiring illustrated book, for fans of Ellyse Perry, features stories and reflections from her childhood and career on the themes of dreaming, belief, work, resilience, acceptance, opportunity, balance and perseverance - and their importance in everything we do.Usually read by students in years 9, 10 and above.
ISBN 9781460758083
Publisher HarperCollins Australia, 2019
Perry, Ellyse
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314
Pipe, The
A skateboarding story with a twist.
ISBN 9780850917871
Publisher Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd, 1996
Moloney, James
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325
Redback leftovers, The
Imagine the worst soccer team that you can think of and then triple it. This is a description of the debut of the Redback Leftovers, one of the most unlikely and inspiring soccer teams you are ever going to meet.
ISBN 9780141304946
Publisher Penguin, 2000
Oswald, Debra
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587852
Rise: The Sam Thaiday story
For sixteen years, Sam Thaiday has entertained Broncos, Queensland Origin and Australian fans, both on and off the field. This book tells his story. With his trademark humour and honesty, Sam reveals his roots as a Townsville boy and a die-hard Cowboys fan, his family connections to the Torres Strait, how his Mum taught him to pass and tackle, and all the ups and downs of a career playing the game he loves. Including advice for setting and reaching goals, handling setbacks, and finding what really matters in life, Rise: The Sam Thaiday Story (Young Readers' Edition) is a must-read for any young league fan, regardless who they barrack for.
ISBN 9780143790419
Publisher Penguin Books Australia, 2018
Thaiday, Sam & Colley, James
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846122
Sister secrets
Follow the highs and lows of Cate and Bronte Campbell's long journey towards Olympic glory. Gain insight into their motivation, mental toughness, and the balance between life and elite-level swimming.
ISBN 9781760525910
Publisher Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, 2021
Campbell, Cate & Campbell, Bronte
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611375
Song of the curlew
Luke Miggs wants more than small town life: the grind of chores on the family farm, playing lacklustre footy, beers with mates. Like maybe doing something about his crush on Amanda Hunt, a barmaid at the local pub who's smart, funny and ambitious. Or maybe playing footy in the big league. At eighteen it can't be too late, can it? There's his place in the Curlews, at least, although the team's little more than a bunch of battlers who play for the beers afterwards. If only they could take their footy seriously, like the reigning champions, the Little Reach Scorpions, who have dominated the competition for ten years. By the looks of this season, nothing is going to change. But when Adam Pride emerges from the night and tells the Curlews he wants to play for them, everything begins to change. A story of friendship, family, and coming of age, and how the choices of our past can come back to shape our future.
ISBN 9780648478935
Publisher Busybird Publishing, 2017
Zigomanis, Lazaros
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31066

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Surf ache: how do you choose between the things you love
That blonde boy can really surf. Ellie's move ends her relationship with Jamie and leads to a complete change in interests. She is redefining herself as a surfer with a new love interest. Her prowess as a beginner could be due to her dancing or the good genes she has inherited from her mum. Ella learns to cope with being the new kid, with the ex and the potential boyfriend meeting up, and with the adults in her life. Usually read by students in years 9, 10 and above.
ISBN 9781921150920
Publisher Walker Books, 2009
Bobsien, Gerry
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392
Surf's up
Brad teaches disabled Matt how to surf and finds himself in a life-threatening situation.
ISBN 9781863682503
Publisher Fremantle Press, 1999
Chase, Diana
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444
Wanderer, The
In this story about sailing, Sophie travels from Nova Scotia to England to visit the grandfather that she has never met.
ISBN 9780330392921
Publisher Pan Macmillan London, 2001
Creech, Sharon
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3603
Year my life broke, The
Josh and his family have moved from a nice city house, to a boring street in the country. There are dangerous strangers in his backyard and bullets flying past his ears. At his new school everyone thinks he is hopeless and he has no clue about sport, like cricket, but they are in for the shock of their lives.
ISBN 9781742613352
Publisher Pan MacMillan, 2014
Marsden, John
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6020
You are awesome: Find your confidence and dare to be brilliant at (almost) anything
This is a book for people who want to be awesome at something, but aren't sure how. Written by a two-time Olympian, who admits he wasn't born sporty, this book explains how to become successful at anything, it doesn't matter where you start or who you are. This is an exciting, uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, and amusing book that every student will enjoy. What are your dreams? What do you want to be awesome at? Read this book and discover how you can be the best version of yourself.
ISBN 9781526361158
Publisher Wren and Rook Books, 2018
Syed, Matthew
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