The Legends series by Michael Panckridge
Ford St, 2016.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Sports. School. With the upper primary reading group such a hard batch to satisfy with good books, it is great to see the republishing of Michael Panckridge’s exciting series, The Legends. This is most welcome, with the series repackaged with an up to date cover and blurb, designed to appeal to this difficult group of the reading public. Each of the eight novels in The Legends series are very school based using day to day encounters to develop the plots, involving sports which are part of the school’s competitions.
Chasing the break involves a surfing competition at Sandhurst Primary School. One boy, Travis Fisk, won the competition at last year’s annual beach camp and intends to win again, but he is challenged by the new boy at school, Mitchell Grady. Told in short, easy to read chapters, the characters are well developed and identifiable, and the integrity underlining the story is easily in reach of every reader. They will cheer the hero as he strives to win despite the odds, overcoming the antagonism of the antihero of the story.
Against the spin has a similar plot line, with Travis nursing his wounds and Mitchell shining on the cricket field as well. But this involves more of Travis’ undesirable bullying coming to the fore, and Mitchell and his friends having to deal with his antics both on and off the sporting field.
Exciting, fast paced and easy to read, each of these stories is about one hundred pages long with scores and quizzes at the end for further excitement. The whole set will rarely be left on the shelf.