Have a Go, Henry! Review – Reading Time

**WILLSON, Kate (text) Marjory Gardner (illus.) Have a Go, Henry! Celapene Press, 2012 87pp $10.95 pbk ISBN 9780980699463
SCIS 1549636

It is hard living in the shadow of a very talented sibling when the family talent gene seems to have passed you over. Sister Suzy is a netball champion, widely known and admired and the apple of mum and dad’s eye. Henry tries to match his sister and hopes to attract his parents’ admiration but fails miserably in a succession of sports. He is resigned to failure and tags along with mum and dad to Suzy’s grand final, like all the other matches with his rap music-loaded iPod and earphones. However, this time his own special talent emerges as he plays an instrumental and unique role in helping the Ravens come from behind to take out the championship.

Threaded throughout this novel for the pre-teens are common proverbs and adages that Henry has absorbed from his Grandma. He is reminded of such sayings as ‘fortune favours the brave’ and ‘not put all your eggs in one basket’ as he deals with his own dismal efforts and barracks for his sister’s team. As much as the novel entertains with the sporting plot, it is also amusingly instructive in the nature and use of colloquialisms.

KS