My favourite books

May 16, 2024
One of the common questions I get is ‘What are your favourite books?”.
I love sports books, biographies and autobiographies, non-fiction, comics or graphic novels. Topics kind of reflected in my writing as well so far!
But growing up books weren’t a big thing for me. Books in school about petite white princesses, pumpkins turning to chariots, or fairy godmothers, just didn’t hook me. I couldn’t relate to them or see myself in them. We didn’t have a community library. And had limited books at home- my parents and family preferring oral yarns or stories from our culture and lived experiences.
That’s one of the reasons I write: for outback kids to see themselves mirrored in texts, to see the paths they can follow, the doors they can take. To see deadly role models, opportunities, strengths.
I have always been passionate about sports. I’ll play anything: ping pong, table tennis, hop scotch, football, basketball, handball, soccer, rugby, tennis. I’ll give anything a go. My teams, Sam Slammers and Frog Hollow, won our regional basketball comp, King of the Kimberley, a few times. I played in then coached Halls Creek Hawks to premiership victory a few times. I’ve coached inaugural premiership winning Lismore Swans women’s to victory twice, and coached Coolangatta womens teams. I’ve worked with Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions. I love reading books about sports figures kicking goals and smashing records.
I love being a role model for kids in schools; both Indigenous and non-Indigenous kids. I know how important it is, I had some deadly role models growing up too. My Elders, my dad, my mum, my uncles and aunties, older siblings. Nicky Winmar, Krakouer brothers, Peter Matera, Gilbert McAdam.
I’ve always enjoyed fishing, hunting, gold detecting and spending time out bush. So non-fiction books about those topics will hook me in.
And since having my children, I’ve been trying to read to them every night. So comics and graphic novels have been a winner too. Including one by my nephew!
These days there are lots of diverse books and books by diverse authors and illustrators to choose from. It is inspiring to see some of the books and creators pushing boundaries, breaking through glass ceilings and creating books for diverse readers.
I am glad I have been creating books to add to this mix. Books for young kids to see themselves in, or learn about the lives of others. A chance to write for younger me- he would be proud… and have something to hook him into reading!
You can explore all my books hereteacher’s notes here.
Did you know? I have two new books coming out this year?
🎾🎾🎾Backyard Tennis (Lothian) a picture book about community, friendship and connection… and sport. This one isn’t just for tennis lovers though- its more than that and can be unpacked on a few different levels.
🏉🏉🏉Kimberley Kickers: Jy goes for gold (Harper Collins) is a middle reader based on the real-life adventures and fun from Gold Coast Suns’ star, Jy Farrar. Follow him as he splashes in remote water holes, chases goanna, and has fun around his community.

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