Get a Life
A junior novel published by Lothian Books.
Conor Burgess is selected to row in the year 9 quad at Heyington College and his father immediately concludes that Conor will win the Junior Head of the River – and eventually the Head of the River. Dad turns up at training the first morning, riding his push bike along the Yarra River, embarrassing Conor and making things difficult with the coach. Further incidents abound.
While Conor’s mates think his dad is pretty cool, to Conor his father is a total embarrassment and everything he does upsets Conor. It takes a series of incidents both on and off the river for Conor to start to see his father from another perspective and learn who the real James Burgess is.
Matthew, one of the rower’s in Conor’s quad, collapses at training and is found to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which prevents him from rowing for the rest of the season. His need for peer support and the effect of CFS on young people today is tackled in the story and is based on my middle son, Damien, being diagnosed with CFS when he was 14.
This story is unique as it features rowing as the main sport in which the characters are involved. Having an embarrassing parent, especially a sports mad one who wants to tell the team how to play the game, teenagers who suffer social upheaval when their families are relocated from interstate or overseas, peer support for chronically ill teenagers, adults living their dreams of sporting success through their children, are just some of the issues tackled in Get a Life! It’s laced with humour and adventure.
It is a novel for readers aged 10-15.