Series of the Week: Play Like A Girl by Jo Stanley

Series of the Week: Play Like A Girl by Jo Stanley

bring-it-on-“You play like a girl.”

It used to be such a negative phrase. Boys taunting boys. As if playing like a girl was such a bad thing, an indication of them being lesser. Lately, though, playing like a girl has become something to be celebrated, and Jo Stanley’s new series Play Like A Girl celebrates the awesomeness of girls in sport.

Brought to you in partnership with the AFLW (the women’s league of AFL), Jo Stanley has written a trailblazing new series that weaves the ordinary world of young girls with the thrill and excitement of AFLW. The sport genre of middle grade literature isn’t anything new, but so often it is geared towards boys. Stanley has written a funny, action-packed series celebrating the achievements of women in sport, and fostering a love of an active lifestyle for young girls.

Play Like A Girl follows a group of young girls who play for the Flyers, the footy team of Milsborough West – a fictional town in the centre of Melbourne. The Flyers are a diverse group of clever, cheeky, funny, deep thinking, strong and enthusiastic girls, all of whom love their footy, their team, and love being fit and active.

The series begins with the coming together of The Flyers. It’s a group of eighteen girls from different schools, different backgrounds, and different levels of experience. Four of these girls – Sarah, Hanh, Rainbow, and Lucy – become very close very quickly, and the books Bring It On!, Dream Team!, Totally Epic!, and Smashing It! follow their adventures in friendship, footy, and life.

The books are told each from their perspective. What’s wonderful about these books is the diverse sense of personality you get from each girl. What’s even better is Jo Stanley’s acknowledgement of the multicultural lifestyle of Australia. Footy means different things to each of these girls. Stanley explores the idea that sport just isn’t something you do for fitness, it can become a representation of your identity and what matters to you.

Play Like A Girl isn’t just about sport, though. It’s about friendship, belonging, and isolation. Stanley tackles themes of bullying, body image, anxiety, success and failure, and family expectation. Stanley follows these girls as they navigate being eleven and twelve with grace, teaching important lessons about self-acceptance, gS3vLm3VDratitude, kindness, and leadership.

While about AFL, these books aren’t just for fans of sport. Anyone aged eight and up will find something of value in these books, particularly for those who are fans of The Babysitters Club and Go Girl! With Stanley’s comedic background, she’ll have you laughing out loud at certain points. Play Like A Girl is a wonderful addition to any school library, and any parents wanting to encourage their kids to see the value of an active lifestyle.

Jo Stanley is a comedian, writer, actor and presenter. She spent 10 years as one of Melbourne’s most loved breakfast radio entertainers on the Matt and Jo Show on Fox FM, and can now be heard on Gold 104.3’s breakfast show, Jo and Lehmo. Jo appears regularly on all networks of Australian television, on shows such as The Project, The Today Show and Studio 10. She writes for newspapers and magazines around the country, including a regular column in Sunday Life Magazine. Jo began as a stand-up comedian over 20 years ago, and so now uses those skills to bring a unique combination of outstanding professionalism and humour to her work as a presenter. A self-described ‘footy tragic’ and avid Collingwood FC supporter, Play Like A Girl is Jo’s first book series.

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Publisher details

Smashing It!
Author
Jo Stanley
Publisher
The Five Mile Press
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
01 September, 2017
ISBN
9781760409500

Synopsis

Play Like A Girl is a celebration of Aussie girls kicking goals in the sport they love! This trailblazing new series is proudly brought to you in partnership with the AFLW.Written by radio personality Jo Stanley with humour and fun, Play Like A Girl weaves the ordinary world of young girls with the thrill and excitement of AFL. Each book focusses on one girl and her experiences playing footy and her general life of friends, school, hanging out at the shops, and being a good sport. The football, essentially, is the scaffolding of the books, but they’ll be relatable to all readers, regardless of whether or not they’re footy mad (or just joining in the zeitgeist).The series begins with the coming together of the new Millsborough West Youth Girls Football Team. The Flyers will bring 18 girls together, from different schools, different backgrounds and with differing skills and footy experience, all under the kind but eccentric leadership of their coach Shawna McKinnon, whose team building and training methods seem weird and often hilarious to the girls. The Milly West Flyers are a true reflection of the suburb they live in. Of the 18 that join to make up the full side, 6 girls bond quickly, and it’s these 6 girls that the series focuses on. Each book is told from the perspective of one of these 6, all with a very different take on footy.

Publisher details

Totally Epic!
Author
Jo Stanley
Publisher
The Five Mile Press
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
01 September, 2017
ISBN
9781760409494

Synopsis

Play Like A Girl is a celebration of Aussie girls kicking goals in the sport they love! This trailblazing new series is proudly brought to you in partnership with the AFLW.Written by radio personality Jo Stanley with humour and fun, Play Like A Girl weaves the ordinary world of young girls with the thrill and excitement of AFL. Each book focusses on one girl and her experiences playing footy and her general life of friends, school, hanging out at the shops, and being a good sport. The football, essentially, is the scaffolding of the books, but they’ll be relatable to all readers, regardless of whether or not they’re footy mad (or just joining in the zeitgeist).The series begins with the coming together of the new Millsborough West Youth Girls Football Team. The Flyers will bring 18 girls together, from different schools, different backgrounds and with differing skills and footy experience, all under the kind but eccentric leadership of their coach Shawna McKinnon, whose team building and training methods seem weird and often hilarious to the girls. The Milly West Flyers are a true reflection of the suburb they live in. Of the 18 that join to make up the full side, 6 girls bond quickly, and it’s these 6 girls that the series focuses on. Each book is told from the perspective of one of these 6, all with a very different take on footy.

Publisher details

Dream Team!
Author
Jo Stanley
Publisher
The Five Mile Press
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
01 September, 2017
ISBN
9781760409487

Synopsis

Play Like A Girl is a celebration of Aussie girls kicking goals in the sport they love! This trailblazing new series is proudly brought to you in partnership with the AFLW.Written by radio personality Jo Stanley with humour and fun, Play Like A Girl weaves the ordinary world of young girls with the thrill and excitement of AFL. Each book focusses on one girl and her experiences playing footy and her general life of friends, school, hanging out at the shops, and being a good sport. The football, essentially, is the scaffolding of the books, but they’ll be relatable to all readers, regardless of whether or not they’re footy mad (or just joining in the zeitgeist).The series begins with the coming together of the new Millsborough West Youth Girls Football Team. The Flyers will bring 18 girls together, from different schools, different backgrounds and with differing skills and footy experience, all under the kind but eccentric leadership of their coach Shawna McKinnon, whose team building and training methods seem weird and often hilarious to the girls. The Milly West Flyers are a true reflection of the suburb they live in. Of the 18 that join to make up the full side, 6 girls bond quickly, and it’s these 6 girls that the series focuses on. Each book is told from the perspective of one of these 6, all with a very different take on footy.

Publisher details

Play Like a Girl: Bring It On!
Author
Jo Stanley
Publisher
The Five Mile Press
Genre
Children’s Fiction
Released
01 September, 2017
ISBN
9781760409470

Synopsis

Play Like A Girl is a celebration of Aussie girls kicking goals in the sport they love! This trailblazing new series is proudly brought to you in partnership with the AFLW.Written by radio personality Jo Stanley with humour and fun, Play Like A Girl weaves the ordinary world of young girls with the thrill and excitement of AFL. Each book focusses on one girl and her experiences playing footy and her general life of friends, school, hanging out at the shops, and being a good sport. The football, essentially, is the scaffolding of the books, but they’ll be relatable to all readers, regardless of whether or not they’re footy mad (or just joining in the zeitgeist).The series begins with the coming together of the new Millsborough West Youth Girls Football Team. The Flyers will bring 18 girls together, from different schools, different backgrounds and with differing skills and footy experience, all under the kind but eccentric leadership of their coach Shawna McKinnon, whose team building and training methods seem weird and often hilarious to the girls. The Milly West Flyers are a true reflection of the suburb they live in. Of the 18 that join to make up the full side, 6 girls bond quickly, and it’s these 6 girls that the series focuses on. Each book is told from the perspective of one of these 6, all with a very different take on footy.
Jo Stanley
About the author

Jo Stanley

Jo Stanley is a comedian, writer, actor and presenter. She spent 10 years as one of Melbourne's most loved breakfast radio entertainers on the Matt and Jo Show on Fox FM, and can now be heard on Gold 104.3's breakfast show, Jo and Lehmo. Jo appears regularly on all networks of Australian television, on shows such as The Project, The Today Show and Studio 10. She writes for newspapers and magazines around the country, including a regular column in Sunday Life Magazine. Jo began as a stand-up comedian over 20 years ago, and so now uses those skills to bring a unique combination of outstanding professionalism and humour to her work as a presenter. A self-described 'footy tragic' and avid Collingwood FC supporter, Play Like A Girl is Jo's first book series.

Books by Jo Stanley

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  1. Annette Archibald says:

    Just watched House of Wellness and saw Jo talk about her series of books, Play Like a Girl.
    I have an eight year old granddaughter and wondered if these books would be suitable for her, she is an excellent reader.
    How much does the series cost?
    Thank you, Annette
    A