Dylan Conlan’s life as an 11-year-old in Mount Isa is upended when his mum announces that she has a new job in Brisbane. He is forced to leave his beloved team, the Mount Isa Miners, and as Dylan’s family are members of the Kalkadoon people of the Mount Isa region, the move also separates him from his cultural traditions. Starting at Flatwater State School is confronting, particularly because Jared Knutz, the class bully, seems to have it in for him after he defends Kiwi student Justice Jones from Jared’s bullying. But, luckily, he and Justice become friends, and he also discovers that Mr Woolly, the school principal, used to teach in Mount Isa, and played for the same team, and also that his teacher, Mr Barwick, is a ‘footy tragic’.
However Dylan has a secret power. When he gets mad, he turns into a huge ‘man-creature’. So when they attend a Broncos training day and Jared annoys him again, he expands and Coach Griffin recruits him as a member of the team. Justice dubs him Deadly D, an Indigenous Rugby League superstar!
Dylan decides to use his power for good to help his fellow Indigenous people, and in the process he manages to ensure that Jared the bully is well punished for his actions. This is a funny, very entertaining sports fiction with a fantasy element, further enhanced by David Hartley’s black and white cartoon-like illustrations throughout the book.
At the back of the book is a brief glossary of some of the words used in the text, short author biographies and
some information about the black&write! project which aims to foster Indigenous writing. It was winner of both the 2013 Black&Write! Kuril Dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowship and the 2014 Speech Pathology Australia, Book of the Year Awards, Indigenous Children’s Category.
Written by Indigenous Rugby League star, Scott Prince, from the Kalkadoon People in Mt Isa, and co-written and illustrated by Indigenous educator, Dave Hartley, whose people are Barunggam, the traditional people of the Darling Downs/Chinchilla region. This book is the first in a series which targets young boys who love sport but who may not necessarily have been readers, and presents a powerful message of self-affirmation for Indigenous children.
Series: Deadly D & Justice Jones no 1