- Space Footy
- Fatcat and Alfie
- Horsey Town
- The Alien
- Liar, lair
- Medal of Courage
- The Hippodrome
- Monster Families
Recommended Reading Age: Middle and Upper Primary.
Science fiction, humour, adventure and mystery –this lively collection of short stories will have particular interest to boys aged between 9 and 13
This is the companion volume to Killer Virus and Other Stories
and My Horrible Cousins and Other Stories.
From the opening of ‘FREAKY!’
When I was old enough to question such things, I’d want to know where I came from and why the man I call ‘Dad’ had taken me on. It was pretty obvious we weren’t related. Back then we were hitching rides on starships, though never staying more than one month in any port.
Dad’s answer was to grin and ruffle my hair. ‘Jay, I found you under a cabbage in a Hydroponics Plant. When no one else claimed you, I took you on.’
‘Which Hydroponics Plant?’ I’d ask.
‘No place you’ve ever heard about,’ he’d say and that was all I’d get out of him except that this planet was too dangerous to visit. I suppose I could have tried to figure it out. But there are so many ports, and each with its own Hydroponics Plant, I wouldn’t know where to begin.
But isn’t this stuff a boy should know?
Later we turned this into a joke. Like eating coleslaw, I’d say, ‘Hope this isn’t Mum’ and we’d both laugh. But one day when I’d been carrying on about cabbage soup and cabbage rolls, he said unexpectedly, ‘If you must know, that plant was on Salisia.’
I gulped. How come he hadn’t told me this before? Salisia was the most exciting star-port in our galaxy. Any freighter who gave us a hitch usually flew great distances. To wile away those months in space, there was always an excellent stock of holos and many were about Salisia. In my imagination I was already there….’
Review by Anastasia Gonis for Buzzwords
Space Footy and other stories, a book for boys aged 9-13 years, (I’d say people aged 9- 100) is the companion to the previous book of entertaining tales for girls of the same age group, My Horrible Cousins and Other Stories. It covers various genres including science fiction, mystery, adventure, historical fiction and humour. Ghosts, aliens and bullies are only a few of the main characters the stories are built upon. There are contemporary issues addressed and handled in a comprehensive but subtle way.
My favourite of all the eleven stories, although each one has merit, was Freaky. Imaginative and meaningful, it tells the story of an inter-galactic boy, Jay, ‘found under a cabbage patch’ who was ‘a freak, an idiot, or both’, as he had an extra head ‘that hung from his left shoulder like a dead weight’. Cloned in a fertility lab, his origins had been kept secret. But he’d inherited the gift of inexplicable strength, and a step-father who adored him.
Forced to land on the asteroid Salisia, his planet of origin, Jay and his father Bruth meet Beyong, a boy always on the run because he refuses to tell a lie. Jay is told never to be separated from Bruth no matter what occurs. As he grows, so does his head. It is the explanation of the unnatural circumstances of his form that explodes into crystal-like perfection at the climax of the story.
Goldie has a gift for drawing in the reader at the beginning with a little unexpected twist that promises excitement and something unusual. The whole of the collection and the previous one have this sustainment. The characters are unconventional; but they have something specific that’s extraordinary about them. They do outrageous things, have significant setbacks, but every story ends in a positive outcome.
Teacher Notes are available for both collections as with all the author’s works.
Teacher Notes are on the website of www.teachingsolutions.com.au