Tag Archives: Surfing

End of the holidays

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Well funsters, normally round about now, at the tail end of the second week of spring break, I’d be gnashing my teeth about the holidays coming to an end. But – oh my lordy! – the complete and utter bliss of NOT being fully employed (without the usual stress of that situation). The Kid and I have had a lovely two weeks with about half of that time spent up the coast with her surfing and skating, and me enjoying watching her, and both of us sharing some lovely time with our friend, her coach, and other friends.

I have actually done some ‘other’ work in that time – having had a couple of paid writing commissions – jobs which I hope will parlay into more of the same. I have read LOTS and now have at least ten books piled up – from PBs to adult bios – for which to write reviews. That’s on the agenda for the next few days. I’m already booked for one day’s relief work (in a close-by library at a tasty school – yayy!) when term starts next week, and have to also write up The Kid’s home school program but I’m sure it will all work out just fine.

So stay tuned for some upcoming reviews of some fabulous reads and if you are just starting out your new school year in the northern hemisphere, all good fortune to you – and for my Aussie colleagues happy 4th term!

The Colourful World of Poppy Starr Olsen: A novel inspired by the life of the Australian Olympic skateboarder – Poppy Starr Olsen & Jess Black

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Penguin Australia

  • August 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143778837
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $16.99

From the opening pages this is just a joyful experience and one that I binged in just two sessions. I’ll be honest here. I didn’t know of Poppy (I don’t watch or follow the Olympics) and I know – well knew – zilch about skateboarding so I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got is a delightful narrative (based on fact, presumably) that revolves around family and friends, following one’s dream, being adventurous, having self-belief and standing up for one’s rights and expectations.

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy Poppy’s story but I really did learn so much – as will readers – and not just via the interspersed facts, but also from the lively descriptions of skating and surfing. Of course, with The Kid now pursuing surfing, it was this connection between the two sports that really grabbed my full attention. Now Grom is the proud owner of a surf-skate carver skateboard and learning to use it is a priority in the agenda! And really it’s pretty fun when your surf coach demonstrates his own skateboard skills (notwithstanding the age he was turning the next day!)

sorry John, and you know you are the coolest guy we know! 😘😍

Poppy lives with her lively and adventurous family in beautiful Bondi and her passion is skateboarding, closely followed by surfing, along with art and craft, family adventures and hanging out with friends. She loves to skate and while she has entered competitions, they have been more about a fun one-off rather than serious events. But when her local skatepark is about to host an awesome comp, Poppy knows she wants to definitely be part of it and give it her best shot. Except it looks like she’s not allowed to compete! Feisty young Poppy is not going to let discrimination stand in her way and just as she wins that battle, another one looms when a local councillor tries to thwart the competition taking place.

It is totally engaging and exciting and the proof of that is that I did a first chapter read-aloud with my Year 6 relief class last week and even the ‘difficult’ boys were totally absorbed!!! WINNING!

I guarantee you will have just as much success promoting to your readers – from middle school right up to year 7 and as much fun doing so!

Highly recommended for kiddos from around ten years on.

Just watch this winning performance!

Surf Riders Club 2: Bronte’s Big Sister Problem – Mary Van Reyk

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Hachette Australia

FEB 27, 2018 | 9780734417923 | RRP $12.99

 

As I predicted the first in this series has been very popular in our library – after all we are in the beautiful Sunshine Coast and surfing is a prime pastime! So I have no doubt at all that this second in the series will be just as eagerly pounced upon by our girls.

While the first book centred on Ava’s move to her new community this one moves focus to another member of the Surf Riders Club, Bronte. The club is going strongly with the girls all continuing to help each other improve their surfing skills and encouraging one another in all efforts. They are very excited about their upcoming first competition but Bronte is having some difficulties. Ever since her older brother Oscar went away to uni the dynamic between Bronte and her older sister Carrie has changed – and not for the better.

Carrie no longer wants to share in Bronte’s interests but instead wants, even insists that Bronte should tag along with her and ignore the ‘stupid’ Surf Riders Club. Bronte faces real dilemmas as Carrie urges her to ‘cover up’ to their parents – because ‘sisters stick together’.  Bronte has to really wrestle with her conscience as well have the confidence to stand up for herself and her friends and risk losing her sister’s trust.

The surf competition is pretty intense and the girls do themselves proud.  Even more importantly as Carrie’s importunate and deceitful behaviour unravels in front of everybody including their parents the sisterly relationship begins to heal and Bronte gains a deeper understanding of both her sister and her own need to be true to herself.

Another great read for young girls from around ten years upwards. This is exciting and dramatic and touches on many issues with which tweens can easily relate.

Highly recommended for girls – around Year 4 to Year 7.

Ava’s Big Move – Surf Riders Club #1 – Mary Van Reyk

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Hachette Children’s Books

Imprint: Lothian Children’s Books

September 2017

9780734417909

RRP $12.99

ava

First in a new series designed to encourage more girls into the sport of surfing this kicks off in a very promising manner. Ava’s parents have decided on a sea change which means that Ava is leaving behind her big city life, school, friends and her usual holiday sport of snow- boarding. She is definitely not a happy camper when she starts at her new high school but her interest is piqued when a new sport is added to the students’ choices. Though the other students are used to beach life learning from scratch basically puts Ava on a reasonably level par with many and perhaps her snow-boarding experience might just be helpful.

Along the way during their first term of surfing Ava and four other girls form some friendship bonds and create the Surf Riders Club to support each other in their progress.  Essentially this is not just a series for Mighty Girls to try out something new but also one that demonstrates how a circle of friendship can be something of critical importance for young girls (indeed any age girls!).

Endorsed by Surfing Australia and with a special message from Tyler Wright 2016 Women’s World Surfing Champion, this should prove to be a very popular read for your girls from around ten-fourteen years.

Highly recommended for upper primary/early secondary readers.

Amped! Carving it up with DC Green – a blog Q&A that’s choka!

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Ohmigosh! Q&A with the wonderful DC Green – grommet, writer, entertainer, cat-herder, friend, guy with panache…………..and all round Good Guy.DCinaction.jpg

  1. Tell us about the young DC – what were you like as a kid, what did you like doing, where you grew up, how naughty you were?

Young DC would be devastated to learn that old DC went bald decades ago! I hope he’d be stoked, though, that his wrinklier-self learned to become less bashful about talking in public and ended up a surprisingly okay parent. Old DC still loves the same things he loved as a grommet: reading, writing, surfing, new experiences – and befriending every animal he meets! So, not much has changed.

Yes, Mini-me was a bit of a naughty class clown. He just liked making other kids laugh and feel happy (even if that meant the odd detention or five). Old DC still enjoys being an entertainer, whether through his writing or his zany school shows. Again, not much change!

(Phew, and I’ll stop calling myself ‘Old DC’ now!)

 

  1. Which City of Monsters student most resembles DC at school? Were you a laid-back spider grommet or a tightly-bound serious mummy or…?

I think I possessed a combination of monster traits. Like Stoker the vampire, I hated injustice and had a rebellious streak (and once, even a Mohawk!). I definitely enjoyed being the class joker a la Bruce the giant spider. Yet I could also be, like Greta the forest goblin, quite a studious, serious nerdy type; not to mention I remained vertically challenged until year 11 (when I finally hit puberty)! And in certain social situations, I probably matched Zorg the zombie for being introverted, mumbly and incoherent.

 

  1. What does your writing space look like and how do you approach your writing? (photos always welcome!)

I have a big computer desk in the lounge room that is usually piled high with books, paperwork, notes, coffee cups and a sprawling cat named Frankie Hollywood Junior (photo attached!). I have rural views out the window with a distant ocean glimpse, if I crane my neck. As for how I approach my writing – usually with a sense of wonder, nerves of steel and caffeine!

DCcat

  1. You live in Ulladulla, which is one of my favourite towns in the country, what does a typical day look like for you? What is it about the place you like so much?

I was super-lucky because my single-parent teacher mother moved to Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast when I was in primary school. Apart from a few years at uni and numerous overseas jaunts, I’ve never left! I ended up becoming a single parent myself. I love the natural beauty, country towns remain great places to raise capable, confident kids – and the surf is a definite bonus!

My days vary with the seasons. For a few months each year I’m busily emailing and phoning schools to organise two cold season months on the road, touring schools around Australia. That bit’s hard work, but tremendously rewarding. When I’m at home and on deadline (or a writing roll), I can become a hermit, blinking rarely into the sunshine. When the waves are firing, I can lose whole days surfing, eating, dozing and surfing some more!

  1. How did City of Monsters come into being? When can we expect the next instalment? And what next?

I planned the City of Monsters series for years before I actually began writing. I researched monsters from all over the world. I wrote hundreds of pages of background notes. I drew ever-refined city maps, and worked out the multitude of details that would make my monster metropolis feel vibrant and alive (well, apart from the Dead Zone). For every different monster species, I tried to build a working niche in the city, covering their history, politics, cultural quirks, language differences, grudges, demographics and religions. Finally, after building this amazing playground, it was time to play – and start weaving some stories!

My goal was to write a multi-book story that the young DC would love as much as the old: an epic like Lord of the Rings, but for modern kids and adults – full of action and break-neck adventure, but also with heart, subtle themes, great twists and a truck-load of humour. Oh, and with as many fully-rounded female characters as male! Well, why not have a lofty goal? 😉

The next City of Monsters book should hit bookstores in early 2017. Dragon Apocalypse will be the third and final instalment in the series. I biasedly think this is the best children’s novel I’ve written – and at 73K words, it’s certainly the thickest! The hard bit will be saying goodbye to the monster and human characters I’ve grown to love . . . writing into so many hideous conflicts! :L I only hope Dragon Apocalypse proves to be a worthy and satisfying farewell for my few but precious monster fans.

The hardest part after that will be choosing which of several jostling book ideas to pursue next!

goblinwars

  1. Aside from surfing, cat-wrangling and avid adjectival activity how do you chill out?

I’ve been trying to cut down on my adjectives! For chilling out, I love the beach, good company, salty air, the odd Oxford comma, and an intriguing glass of red. This is starting to sound like a dating profile!

  1. What other jobs have you done? What was the worst? How did you make the leap to writing professionally?

When I was a boy I mowed lawns, babysat naughty kids (karma) and sold macadamia nuts and lemons from our backyard trees to health stores, and fish and chips shops. At uni, I worked as a car counter, swimming instructor and gentle bouncer. My worst job was on Saturday mornings in year 11. Skulking in the clothing section of Ulladulla’s new department store, I was shy, felt ridiculous in my uniform, and would much rather have been writing stories or surfing!

I won an interstate short story award (and $250!) for a story I wrote in Year Ten. Through uni, and for most of my adult life, I’ve been fortunate to be able to contribute semi-regularly to surf magazine around the world (admittedly, mostly to swindle free trips to exotic locations!). Becoming a children’s author seemed a challenging segue, and I’m grateful that 2017 will see my children’s book tally hit nine (with the third City of Monsters and also my new PICTURE BOOK, Pirate School!).  I’ve always been fortunate to make at least a part-time living from my writing. Or, at least, I’ve tried!

  1. What are you reading at the moment? Do you have some favourite authors? Did you read as a child – what did you read then?

I’ve been immersed in endlessly re-reading Dragon Apocalypse over the last month or three, but am looking forward to reading other authors soon! My favourite author list is massive, but the Aussie children’s author section would surely include Carol Wilkinson, Bill Condon, Di Bates, Sue Whiting, Dee White, Robyn Opie Parnell, Michael Gerard Bauer, Ian Irvine, Sally Odgers, Isobelle Carmody – and many more! I was a voracious reader as a child. Loved Doctor Seuss, Paddington the Bear, the X-men, Lord of the Rings and being allowed to read adult science fiction and fantasy when I was in junior high school (thank you, super-cool librarian!).

  1. What inspires you?

I think I’ll need a list for this one! My daughter. Kindness. Helping or inspiring others. My friends. My family (well, most of them). Seeing people take risks and strive for their goals. Nature. When good people earn their happy endings. Travelling.

  1. What suggestions can you make for others who want to write for young people?

I could jabber on this topic for tens of thousands of words, but here’s a (mercifully) shorter list instead . . .

Don’t write for young people to become rich. That’s a distant, unlikely dream for the vast majority of published authors, including myself. Write because you LOVE writing for young people. Whatever happens after that is a bonus!

Read! Read the classics of children’s literature and the best of modern novels. Not only is reading the most awesome ‘research’ ever invented, it helps to be knowledgeable about the industry and publishing trends.

Write! The more you write, the better your writing will become. Make it a regular habit – even if for just half an hour every day. It takes 10,000 hours to become a master.

Have fun! Pour your heart and imagination into your stories.

Use only the most powerful of verbs and specific of nouns.

Be polite (and grateful) about any feedback, even when the news isn’t to your liking.

Re-write! Make your story so dazzling no reader (or editor) could resist.

And, most importantly, don’t quit!

DCgrommet

Thank you for putting me on the hot seat, Losang! And may I publicly thank you for your awesome and insightful book reviews. Your review of Monster School earned a back-page quote on my second City of Monsters book, Goblin Mafia Wars – available in bookstores and online!

I can be contacted for author visits, book orders and Hollywood offers at my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DCGreenAuthor/

 

Salutations! DC

surferpigs

erasmus

DC Green – thank you so much for such a fab Q&A! Can’t wait to get stuck into the 3rd and final instalment of City of Monsters. You inspire me with your fantastical exuberant joyous entertaining narratives!

Surfs-up-thanks