How to Tackle Your Dreams by Fiona Hardy
The joy of How to Tackle Your Dreams is the meeting of AFL with fashion design, well, a sort of fashion design. All from a young boy trying to navigate life since his parents’ amicable separation and his dad’s relocation to Western Australia for work. What is also exciting, but disruptive, is the acceptance of his mum into the AFLW.
Homer’s life and friendships revolve around footy – he plays too and is talented. Life should be good but when someone you love is absent from your everyday life things can get out of perspective. Homer is desperate to see his dad so decides he must win the girls’ footy jumper logo design competition, which will pay $200. He also starts an unauthorised business to modify school PE shirts, inspired by the inimitable Zara (who appeared in How to Write the Soundtrack to Your Life). Luckily, he has his grandparents' steadying presence, but even that can’t stop things going awry. Will life ever be okay again?
Fiona Hardy’s strength is her ability to write the often unspoken fears of children and how they can misinterpret the actions of adults, and even their peers, making them vulnerable to anxiety. Homer is a wonderful character; that he’s imperfect makes him even more endearing and I loved the relationship he has with his grandparents. For ages 9–12.