Deadly D & Justice Jones: Making the Team – Scott Prince & Dave Hartley
Magabala Books October 2013
Paperback, 125 p.
A few years ago I was teacher-librarian in a footy mad Queensland state school on the north side of Brisbane, trying very hard to get some reluctant boy readers to pick up something other than the Rugby League Weekly magazines (which they read and re-read till the point of disintegration). This new book from Scott Prince and Dave Hartley would have been perfect for persuading some of those boys to read something else.
Winner of the 2013 State Library of Queensland Kuril Dhagun Prize, as part of the black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship competition which was established in 2010 to encourage more Indigenous authors to develop their manuscripts for publication, Deadly D & Justice Jones: Making the Team is the first in a projected series to promote reading for leisure and pleasure to sports mad kids.
Scott Prince, of course, is well known to many as a high profile star of rugby league and is also an Indigenous ambassador for the “Learn, Earn, Legend!” initiative while his mate Dave Hartley is a deputy principal at Woodridge State School, in the Logan area south of Brisbane, who was awarded ‘Gold Coast Teacher of the Year” in 2009. Both have Indigenous backgrounds and have achieved great success in their respective careers and make perfect role models for young students.
Dylan is 11 years old and relocates to Brisbane from Mt Isa when his widowed mother gains a promotion. Missing his extended family and friends Dylan’s story echoes Prince’s own experience. Though Dylan is upset about the move, much of his anxiety is relieved when he finds his new principal was formerly a footy player in Mt Isa, his new teacher is a Broncos fanatic and his new Maori mate, Justice Jones, is a diehard Warriors supporter.
Dylan’s biggest problem arises when Jared the school bully decides to start in on Justice and Dylan steps in. Ordinarily, Dylan, being a much smaller boy than Jared, would probably have some difficulty in defending himself – except Dylan has a strange super-power. When he gets angry, he turns ‘into a man-creature – a massive, wild and hairy man with a body full of muscles’. Jared gets much more than he bargained for when he switches his thuggish attention to Dylan!
When Dylan’s ‘curse’ becomes apparent during a school excursion to visit the Broncos, Dylan finds himself – well, his alter ego – being invited to join the team. As Deadly D Dylan is fast on his way to becoming a superstar to rival the legendary Prince himself!
This is a great fun read with simple language which will engage students, primarily boys, from 10 up.
Teaching notes are available here: