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One of Magabala’s most-anticipated books of the year was officially launched in Brisbane on Saturday to an audience of excited children, their parents, and sundry footy fans.
Deadly D and Justice Jones: making the team is the work of rugby league star Scott Prince and his teacher mate David Hartley, deputy principal at Woodridge North State School south of Brisbane.
The pair have collaborated to produce a book designed to persuade footy-mad kids that reading is good.
Told through the eyes of an 11-year-old from Mt Isa called Dylan, the story mirrors much of Prince’s own story about his move from the northwest Queensland town where he grew up. Dylan is not thrilled about his enforced move to Brisbane, until he learns his school principal is a former Mount Isa Miner’s footy supporter and his class teacher is a Brisbane Bronco’s tragic. He also discovers a secret power (or curse) that propels him to footy stardom with his idols, the Broncos. Along the way, he pals up with Justice Jones, a Maori boy who helps him try to hide his secret until he finally becomes Deadly D, footy superstar.
In keeping with the story’s theme – and the glittering background of one of its authors – the book was launched to an audience of book and footy fans by the Queensland Minister for the Arts Ian Walker at the Brisbane Broncos club rooms.
Developed through the State Library of Queensland’s black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship competitions, this engaging tale is the first of a planned series Scott and Dave.
“Scott Prince and Dave Hartley are outstanding role models; both have already achieved great success in their respective professions and have harnessed their talents to engage with this younger audience and create a new children’s classic which I hope will be the first of many,” said Mr Walker at the launch.
Scott said Deadly D and Justice Jones: Making the Team aimed to inspire young readers.
“I hope that Indigenous kids will be inspired by Dylan – he’s a strong, proud Indigenous character. From the feedback we’ve had so far, it seems that all kids are inspired by him,” he said.
Dave said the book would encourage reluctant readers who are sports lovers.