Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DROPPING IN by Geoff Havel

Reviewed by Carmela Ramos

‘Three mates, one beat-up old couch, a couple of skateboards and a really steep hill…  what could possibly go wrong?’

     Dropping In exhibits Geoff Havel’s adeptness in writing a fun and engaging story which addresses social issues pertaining to bullying, friendship, ADHD and living with disability. Geoff Havel convincingly writes from the point of view of a teenager and uses language well suited to the protagonist’s age.

     Sticks, a timid and likeable teenager, has known Ranga since he can remember and enjoys spending time with his fearless and energetic friend. When Sticks and Ranga meet James, the new kid in their street, they initially can’t see past his wheelchair and disability. The boys soon discover they have a lot in common. Judgements about each other’s capabilities transform into thoughts of acceptance, inclusion, trust and respect. Together the three mates not only face the fun challenge of becoming a ‘Dip and Gunk’ champion, they also have to deal with the aftermaths of involving themselves in creative yet risky skateboard stunts. While Ranga and James have to contend with all sorts of issues arising from living with ADHD or cerebral palsy, Sticks has to deal with his own concerns of helping Ranga when a social worker questions his bruises, sorting out a complication with a girl he likes, and having to face up to a bully at the local skatepark.

     Dropping In highlights the value of true friendship and underlines how perceptions and expectations can impact the way people with special needs are treated. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend Dropping In to 10 to 14 year olds.

Thank you Fremantle Press for sending us a copy of this fun and action-packed story in exchange for an honest review.

RELEASE DATE : April 2015
For more information on the book go to

About the author
     Geoff Havel has been a primary school teacher for 30 years and has written two picture books and five children's novels, including The Real Facts of Life (2001) and Grave of the Roti Men (2003). Geoff has been the recipient of a West Australian Young Readers' Book Award and was shortlisted for a Western Australian Premier's Book Award.

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