Little Ash (series)
64pp., pbk., RRP $A9.99
As with the others, they feature themes that are likely to be familiar to the audience – getting a puppy, and having to put the greater good before your own desires – and encouraging the reader to consider what they would do in a similar circumstance. Part of learning to win is learning to lose, and it is refreshing to have plots where the main character, who in real life we all seem to expect to win all the time, actually faces difficulties and defeat and has to handle that. It is also refreshing to read stories where, even for champions, success doesn’t come easily – there is a lot of trial and error and practice that has to be endured, and not just with sport. So many children who find something like learning to read comes easy naturally expect things like maths or music will also require little effort and when faced with a challenge either turn away or label themselves as “no good at that”.
As sports stars come and go, much in the same way as new waves of young readers discover they can read by themselves, series like this also come and go and are very popular and useful at their time. Students discover that those they admire most face similar dilemmas and choices as they do, making them more real and, at the same time, showing them that they do have power to determine things for themselves. And with their subject matter and format carefully designed for those emerging readers, regardless of the celebrity on the masthead, they also show them that they can read independently, that reading is something they can master and enjoy and that it will open a whole variety of new worlds and pathways. So this is another important addition to your Stepping Stone collection with application and attraction beyond just those who like tennis.