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Standing Up To Bullies: Read an extract from Natural Born Loser by Oliver Phommavanh

July 30, 2018


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‘That’s just it – I’m no captain or leader. Just a follower. A team player. That usually works out for me. Except when nobody wants to be on my team.’

 Everyone loves a funny school yard story where the good kids take on the bullies and Natural Born Loser delivers this, and so much more.

Raymond is a follower who comes from a long line of followers. He’s more than happy to get involved in things, especially a game of soccer but as part of agroup or even inthe background. Luckily his best friend, Zain, isthe soccer star of lunch time sports.

Disappearing intothe background also helps Raymond avoid being targeted by some of the bullies that roam the playground at Barryjong Primary School. Russell Carney, whohas been suspended more times than all thestudents combined, is to be avoided at all costs. Then, maybe the truth is that Raymond doesn’t really believe he’s capable of all that much – nothing special anyway.

The new principle Mr Humble however, wants to turn the school around and he has Raymond in his sights as one of the new school leaders. Raymond can’t understand why Mr Humble would choose him – he’s not a soccer hero like Zain, brainy like Randa or artistic like Ally – he’s just ordinary.

Read our full review | Purchase a copy of Natural Born Loser | Read more from Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver is a young Thai-Australian writer for children. He has featured on panels at the Sydney Writers’ Festival among many other appearances at festivals and writing events as well as in blogs. He has worked as a primary school teacher and now spends his time writing and sharing his writing passion with kids, engaging them with humour. He’s also a stand-up comedian and has appeared on national TV and radio as well as at a number of well-known comedy venues such as the Comedy Store in Sydney. His first book, Thai-riffic!, was published to critical acclaim, followed by Con-nerdPunchlines, Thai-no-miteEthan in the Stuff Happens series in 2015, The Other Christy and, most recently, Super Con-nerd.


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