Allen & Unwin, 2021
32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
When we first met Lydia Williams in Saved!!!, she was trying to master all sorts of sports with only the native animals to help her. Now her family have moved to the city which is big and intimidating and without her old friends, she couldn’t practise her goalkeeping skills. Feeling lonely and alone, she goes to the city zoo to cheer herself up but even the animals don’t want to know her, until the fleetingly fast gibbon steals her ball…
Using the metaphor of the zoo animals with their superior skills to show how listening to and learning from others is the best path to self-improvement, Lydia shows how she worked on her game so that she is now the Australian Matildas first-choice goalkeeper making her debut at just 17, and plays for Arsenal in the UK. With the Tokyo Olympics on the near horizon and hopefully the Matildas making the nightly news regularly, they have become the role models for so many of our young girls and their matches around the world are eagerly followed. Thus, this and Saved!!! are both perfectly timed for sharing with them to inspire their aspirations.
How did those NSW and Queensland representative rugby league players rise to shine above the rest?
Even for those whose dreams may be as far from being a champion soccer player as you can get, the message of listening, learning, friendship and teamwork permeates everything so it is one for everyone.