Worse Things is a story about connections, the ways they are made, and what happens when they are lost or illusive, from the award-winning author of Pearl Verses the World and Toppling.
When you’re part of the team the sideline is a place of refuge, of rest, of reprieve. But when you’re out of the team the sideline changes. Suddenly it’s the loneliest place of them all.
After a devastating football injury, Blake struggles to cope with life on the sideline. Jolene, a gifted but conflicted hockey player, wants nothing more than for her dad to come home. And soccer-loving refugee, Amed, wants to belong. On the surface, it seems they have nothing in common. Except sport. A touching and inspirational story about the things that bind us all.
The setting is an Australian country town where three kids lives are not always as they seem.
Blake has always been mad on footy but when he badly breaks his arm, he needs to find meaning in his life another way.
Jolene is brilliant at hockey, a sport that her Mum loves. Jolene, not so much. Both of her parents are doctors, and she is seen as spoilt, but she misses her Dad, who is always off saving people in the third world countries.
Amed is a refugee and is new to their school, but he is finding it impossible to fit in, mainly due to his difficulties communicating in English.
We gain an in-depth understanding of their circumstances and see a bond slowly develop between them through adversity. With themes of sport, loneliness, connections, friendship and family, this is an ideal read for those 9 - 15 years. It is beautifully written, and a fast read that will be a favourite of many reluctant teenage readers.
Reviewed by Rob