Head of the River – Pip Harry

Head of the RiverIt’s the most elite school sporting event in the country. Nine rowers, 2000 gruelling metres and one chance for glory in the ultimate team sport. Sit forward … ROW. Tall, gifted and the offspring of Olympians, superstar siblings Leni and Cristian Popescu are set to row Harley Grammar to victory in the Head of the River. With six months until the big race, the twins can’t lose. Or can they? When Cristian is seduced by the easy route of performance-enhancing drugs, and Leni is suffocated with self-doubt, their bright futures start to fade. Juggling family, high expectations, study, break-ups, new relationships and wild parties, the pressure starts to build. As the final moments tick down to the big race, who’ll make it to the start line? And who’ll plummet from grace?

Pip Harry’s website.

Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen:1) – Catherine Gilbert Murdock

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Stuff like why DJ’s best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian Nelson is so, so out of her league. Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D.J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.

Poetry to prose

One perfect pirouette – Sherryl Clark

Brynna’s dream is about to become reality: her family is moving to Melbourne and she can attend the National Ballet School – to which every dancer she knows aspires. Yet, things don’t seem so great to Brynna. Her mum is working hard to support the family, and her brother is just angry with the world. It’s not easy for her either, trying to fit in at a new school and also dealing with the fiercely competitive girls around her. But, wth her true passion for ballet, this novel demonstrates the importance of believing in your dreams.

Penguin

Keeper – Mal Peet

This is the story of how a boy from a poor village on the edge of a South American rainforest grew up to become “El Gato” (The Cat), a famous goal keeper in a World Cup winning team. Of how as a young, gangly boy he got tired of sitting on the sidelines and so went off exploring in the rainforest where he came across a hidden soccer field. And of an apparition that appeared and over many months taught him to become the greatest goalkeeper ever known. Not just an enthralling soccer story, this is also a story about family, a ghost story, an environmental story and ultimately a mystery. Just who is the mysterious coach?

YALITFAN

Born to run: My story – Cathy Freeman

In Born to Run, Cathy tells the story of her life, from her childhood in Mackay to lighting the cauldron at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games before going on to win gold in the four hundred metres. Cathy talks about the racism she experienced, the pain of constant training and the need for self motivation to achieve her childhood dream.
Recommended age: 12+

Library Thing

Touch me – James Moloney

To Xavier, Rugby is everything until he meets Nuala. Nuala is rebellious and different from other girls Xavier knows. A love story full of longing and sensuality that also challenges stereotypes and the way sport is played.
Recommended age: 15+

Fantastic Fiction

Alex – Tessa Duder

The story of one girl and her ambition to swim in the Olympic games. An inspirational and moving story.
Recommended age: 12+

Time Out Bookstore