My Deadly Boots
Carl Merrison & Hakea Hustler
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
He has worked and saved for the money to buy a special pair of football boots, and, at last, they have arrived. His
Spikes on the bottom boots,
my favourite colour boots,
making me too deadly.
Suddenly, he has all sorts of dreams and powers that give him joy, confidence, competence, inspiration and energy that he didn’t have before – or do they? Despite his family members and friends telling him that he is who he is with or without the boots, he is convinced they are the secret to his success, to his being too deadly. They are his ‘walking in two worlds boots’, “blackfella don’t need to be labelled boots’ ‘his ‘run faster than my cousin-brother boots’, his “find a partner and walk in twos’ boots, ‘his ‘dream big boots’, his ‘give me confidence’ boots, his ” I’m somebody’ boots, his very own boots- until he loses them and there is an important lesson to be learned.
Written in rhythmical language that carries the reader along at the same pace as the boots, this is an empowering story of affirmation that no matter who we are, we can all be deadly with or without flash footy boots. Author Carl Merrison is a respected Jaru/Kija man from the Halls Creek area who came WA runner up Australian of the Year – Local Hero in 2016. He has worked for over ten years alongside Aboriginal youth as a mentor and AFL coach and he has drawn on this experience of seeing the confidence boost that having new shoes gives his young charges to create this book while trying to show them that the power was within all the time. While it is specifically aimed at young First Nations readers to inspire them to read, its message is one for all children everywhere.