The Royal Academy of Sport for Girls (series)
Random House Australia, 2017
160pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
The Royal Academy of Sport for Girls is the dream school for girls aspiring to be elite athletes in almost any sport. With a range of high-spec training facilities, top coaches and a curriculum that embraces all the regular things but still allows time for training without ridiculous pre-dawn or after-dark hours, only the most promising are able to pass the rigorous entrance tests and go on to take advantage of what’s on offer.
This is a new series that will appeal to independent readers who are sports-minded and who are looking for stories about girls who excel at what they do. While each title so far focuses on a sport that is normally for individuals, each is encased in a team atmosphere so the message about teamwork is still strong. There is a strong central character who is devoted to her sport but who also faces particular challenges in order to be more than just a champion competitor. In High Flyers Abby doubts her ability; in Leap of Faith Chloe starts two months after the other girls; in Running Free Josie academic work is suffering; and in In Too Deep Delphie discovers a secret about a rival team member who is also her friend.
Each book stands alone – it is the setting that is the common theme rather than the characters – but the whole series will be welcomed by those who enjoy reading about girls like themselves and putting themselves in the character’s shoes as they confront the choices that have to be made.