authors, Pass the Book Baton

Pass the book baton: Geoff Havel


It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

Geoff HavelToday the book baton is passed to Geoff Havel. Geoff was born in the mountains of New Guinea and now lives in Western Australia. His first book — Ca-a-r Ca-a-a-a-r was written during uninterrupted sustained silent reading in a year 5 classroom at Walpole Primary School. His latest book is Dropping In — an action-packed novel that explores friendship, bullying, and living with a disability. (You can read a sample chapter of the book on the publisher’s website.)

You might recognise some of these books by Geoff Havel:

Last week Sally Murphy asked:
What is the thing (or things) you are most proud of in your writing career to date?

Geoff answers:
Every so often I come across a story that cries out to be told because it might make a difference. One such story was The Grave of the Roti Men. I was travelling back to the ferry terminal on the island of Roti in Indonesia when we passed a road turning off towards the ocean. I asked another traveler where the road went and he replied, “The Village of Widows and Orphans.” Right then I knew the story had to be told and I was the one to tell it.

It was the same for Dropping In. The story sort of dropped into my lap when I saw three boys rolling down my street on a couch skateboard they had built. It wasn’t long before I had a clear idea of the three main characters and what the book would be about. I am proud of both those books because it feels like they were meant to be written and I was the one to do it.

Visit Geoff Havel’s website for more about him and his books.

Read an earlier review of Dropping In by Joseph, aged 11.

1 2 Pirate StewAnd now Geoff Havel passes the baton to the next Friday visitor — Kylie Howarth. Her picture book illustrations include lively textures created from paintings by her two young children during their backyard art sessions.

Geoff asks:
How much of your love of stories and your ability to write them comes from your own childhood on a farm and how much comes from being surrounded by children now?
Check in every Friday for questions and answers from children’s authors and illustrators.
See you next week!









Book reviews by Joseph, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Dropping In

Dropping In by Geoff Havel, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925162219 dropping in (cover)


A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

This is about two mates — one who is called Ranga and is very hyperactive and gets into trouble a lot, and one called Sticks. One day there’s a new student at school. His name is James and he’s in a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy. They all live near each other but James can’t join in with everything the others do after school, like when they do skateboarding tricks. When James has to go into hospital for an operation, Ranga wants to make a welcome-home surprise. He has an idea that involves two skateboards and a beat up old couch. What could go wrong?

By looking at the cover, I didn’t think it was a book I would like, because I’ve never been skateboarding and this looked like a book all about skateboards. I decided to read it mostly because of the blurb and it turned out to be a really good book. I liked how these mates got along. Once I started reading Dropping In, I really, really, really didn’t want to put it down.

Most kids would enjoy this book and I think boys will particularly enjoy it. I recommend this book for kids aged 10+.

Joseph is one of our regular book reviewers. His most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Refugee: The Diary of Ali Ismail. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!