Dropping In

Sticks and Ranga live on the same street, go to the same school and love the same things – skateboarding and PlayStation.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 10.21.50 amThen James moves in across the road from Sticks, and quickly becomes one of the group.

Celebral Palsy stops James from doing some of the things Sticks and Ranga can do, but he’s still got a sense of humour and a thirst for adventure.

James is desperate to go skateboarding, and the guys have a plan to make it happen.

But their scheme is not without risks, and could end up in James being seriously injured.

I love the authenticity of this book. The characters are so real. I love that they are not stereotyped teens; that they make mistakes, but they genuinely care about and help each other.

Author Geoff Havel has insightfully captured the sense of humour and the adventurous spirit of boys this age.

The characters are so diverse. There’s Sticks, the main character who lacks confidence and is a victim of the skateboard park bully. He’s also coping with the uncertainties of his first crush on Jess who seems to be sending him mixed signals. There’s Ranga who’s smart but not academic. He’s also fearless and strong. Then there’s James who’s brainy and courageous and wants to do what the others can do. He’s prepared to risk a lot of pain in the name of fun.

One of the things I liked most about this book was that each of the three characters brings so much to the lives of the other two. This is a group of true friends and their relationship with each other is moving, and believable.

Dropping In is a compelling read. It’s a great example of how diversity in books can enrich the experience for a reader, and broaden their understanding of what it’s like to live with a cerebral palsy or ADHD.

Dropping In is published by Fremantle Press for readers aged 10 to 14.