Nothing But Net…

Ishmael and the Hoops of SteelIshmael and the Hoops of Steel by Michael Gerard Bauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Michael Gerard Bauer’s last Ishmael book sees Ishmael and his mates Scobie,Razz, Bill and Ignatius in their last 2 years at St Daniel’s College. Smarting from his breakup with Kelly Faulkner, Ishmael is determined to make his mark on the last 2 years of school. Miss Tarango, their favourite teacher, again features and the boys undertake a massive challenge for her – to WIN the College Cup. None of them feel they are good at much at all, and the way these four (and various members of their house) plot and scheme their way through the competitions has to be read to be believed. Along with that, there is romance, tragedy and concussion – not to mention kissing your best mate’s girl. No spoilers, but I can tell you that you will smile while you are reading this book. I did, often. It’s got it all! I also found myself laughing out loud in the teachers’ staff-room at the boys’ antics. Bauer’s teenage boys are drawn from real life – I felt like I knew every one of them, and loved them all the more for that. Razz, in particular, reminded me of a boy I went to high school with – heck, they all did. I have quite an abiding affection for this novel. Don’t just think this is a novel for boys though – I think girls will enjoy this just as much, and maybe even more, than the boys. Give it a go – you won’t be sorry!

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