A boy. A bike. A legend.
By David Brayley
What if you were a professional road cyclist and – due to a run of bad injuries and loss of form – were told your career will be finished if you didn’t succeed in one of the world’s toughest races? Daniel’s dream of being a leading professional cyclist is under threat but, far from being worried, he believes he has the answer. All he has to do is remember it.
For that, he must go back to the very beginning of his journey as a 14-year-old rider in the leafy lanes of Wales’s Gower Peninsula, and then make a shock detour to rural Italy, where he first hears what will become his mantra – “Be the best that you can be.”
The eccentric stranger who tells him so also introduces Daniel to the legendary Italian racer, Fausto Coppi, and inspires the teenage boy with stories of Coppi’s excellence, bravery, success and ultimate heartbreak. But the eerie man with detailed knowledge hides a dark secret. Once before he tried to inspire a teenage cyclist and the horror of that episode is slowly revealed to Daniel.
In a story that threatens to tear a family apart, can Daniel navigate his past and call on the reasons that led to him becoming a professional cyclist in the first place? If so, he may just be able to deliver a performance in the brutal Milan-San Remo race and save not only his cycling career but everything his life has meant so far.
Will the memories be too painful? Or will they lead on to ultimate glory?
A Brontë Story
By Juliet Heslewood
An old man is asked to remember the Brontës. Wasn’t he taught by the famous sisters in school? John looks back and recalls how, as a young boy, he liked to spy on the family from his secret post, high in Haworth’s church tower, opposite their home.
His own village is one mile away, across the moors. He lives with his shoemaker father and his sisters who work in the local woolen mills. Things change here when Mr. Nicholls, the Haworth curate, builds a small church for its Anglican residents.
John gets to know him. When he does well at school, John is given extra lessons by Mr. Nicholls. The two become close – not only through their work, but because John learns that his master is deeply in love with Charlotte Brontë. John is surprised to learn that she, and her sisters, have become famous writers. For him they are familiar individuals.
He encourages Mr. Nicholls to pursue Charlotte, especially when she loses her siblings and now lives alone with her father. But Mr. Brontë is against Mr. Nicholls, despite his good work in the parish. When it seems he must leave – perhaps to go to the other side of the world – John is alarmed. Yet he has learned much about affection. Over the years he too has become fond of a girl in his village.
The story is based on known events in the lives of the Brontës and the role John played in witnessing Mr. Nicholls’s anguish, as well as his final success.
By Tom Palmer
There was once a bear. A big brown bear. And his name was Grubber. But Grubber was not happy. RLWC2013 was about to kick-off … it should have been an amazing day … but Grubber had a problem. A BIG PROBLEM!
What’s A Bear to Wear? is a new picture book for young children featuring Rugby League World Cup 2013 official mascots Grubber and Steed. Rugby’s newest double act were created by Mark O’Hanlon based on the designs of three young designers – Emily Sixsmith, Sam Bithell and Luke James. The book’s original illustrations are by Alex Thomson.
So dive right into What’s A Bear to Wear? to discover what the problem is and find out how Steed helps Grubber to to solve it.
This book is produced in association with Try Reading, a new project for public libraries. It celebrates and promotes the sporting event of the year – Rugby League World Cup 2013, while encouraging more people to read and to have a go at writing and drama. The project is being funded with an award from the National Lottery supported £6 million Grants for the arts libraries fund by Arts Council England.
And Other Rugby League Stories
By Tracy Maguire
96 pages. Illustrations by Ben Robinson
Are you ready for six original adventures featuring young players, loyal fans and club mascots – who face a desperate race against time to save the Super League Grand Final?