The First Tackle by Rikki-Lee Arnold focuses on Daniella Murphy’s desire to play rugby league. My lack of knowledge about rugby league was a minor distraction.

Although the story is set in 2018, it seemed a bit dated because the women’s rugby league is now well established. However, I imagine there are still some families who are reluctant to allow their daughters to play rugby. Plus many young people have dreams that are difficult to pursue for other reasons, such as finances, dysfunctional families and lack of opportunities. So the theme is a relevant one.

The story is engaging and well-written. It touches briefly on other issues such as the impact of the early death of Dani’s mother and the difficulties of Dani’s widowed grandma living with the family. The importance of friendship was another minor theme.

Overall an enjoyable story.

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