Netball Gems: Pivot and Win
Netball Gems: Defend to the End
Lisa Gibbs and Bernadette Hellard
Penguin Random House, 2015,
144pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
Written in association with Netball Australia by sisters Lisa Gibbs and Bernadette Hellard who have been involved in all aspects of netball for many years, these are the third and the fourth in this series which began with Hooked on Netball and Chase Your Goal with four more additions planned for publication this year.
Similar in format to several series featuring cricket and football that have proven to be really popular, each title focuses on one of the team members as they face personal and game challenges as they pursue their dream to play for the Diamonds, the Australian national team. Throughout the stories the girls learn the intricacies of one of the fastest growing sports in Australia while, at the same time, learning how to deal with life itself. Pivot and Win sees Lily trying to prove herself as a contender even though she is short – something she has no control over – while in Defend to the End, New Zealander Maia is homesick and feels that she doesn’t belong. Even the way they play netball is Australia is different from the way she has mastered and she needs to almost start again.
Packed with tips and drills that budding netballers can try, this series will inspire all those young girls with dreams to work hard to achieve them. Certainly Miss 9 said she can’t wait for her season to start again so she can try out some of the things, although if she ever achieves her dream of playing for the Diamonds there could be conversations with her grandmother about whether Australia or New Zealand are the world champions! Regardless, this series has captured her imagination and provided her with some great reading for some time. I know it will be popular with readers from about Year 3 who enjoy netball and are ready for a longer story.