Fever Pitch

by Nick Hornby

This is a memoir written by a football tragic, Arsenal supporter and very funny writer.

I have learned things from the game. Much of my knowledge of locations in Britain and Europe comes not from school, but from away games or the sports pages, and hooliganism has given me both a taste for sociology and a degree of fieldwork experience. I have learned the value of investing time and emotion in things I cannot control, and of belonging to a community whose aspirations I share completely and uncritically. And on my first visit to Selhurst Park with my friend Frog, I saw a dead body, still my first, and learned a little bit about, well, life itself.

Hornby’s committment to Arsenal is linked to his parent’s separation and his need as a child to hold fast to his father as they supported their team on a Saturday afternoon. He is as funny and compelling in this book as he is in his fiction books (including About a Boy).

Whilst Fever Pitch must have a special appeal for enthusiatic football supporters, lack of knowledge of and interest in ‘the beautiful game’ are not barriers to appreciating this book.

Read a longer excerpt.

The Savage

by David Almond, Illustrated by Dave McKean. Take a look inside this book.

This is a cathartic and healing story from the point of view of a young boy mourning his father. It takes the form of a short (80 page) illustrated book which has a story within the story. The drawings are done in bold, dark strokes and coloured in blues and greens, from pale to very dark.

When Blue Baker gets frustrated writing his thoughts for a counsellor, he begins a story about a wild boy: The Savage. There is a connection there with a bully who haunts Blue and others, but in the end it is the connection made within Blue himself which matters. Integral to the story are Blue’s little sister and his Mam.

Finally, looking back on The Savage, Blue says:

We’re not as sad as we were back then. In some weird way, the sadness made us happy again.

 

A reflection on wilderness and belonging

Foggy Forest by K-girl on Flickr

Foggy Forest by K-girl on Flickr

In the editorial of the October 2008 issue of Wild Magazine, Ross Taylor describes his own sense of belonging to a bushland area he has known since childhood, The Grampians National Park in Victoria: 

Wild places change us if we choose to embrace them; it is hard to delineate how, but for me it is an opening to a different relationship with the land. I like the idea of belonging to the land rather than owning it. It seems like a more sustainable philosophy than our current path of endless acquisition and growth.

 

Taylor shares his memories from childhood and more recent visits.

This article was found using an online subscription database (ANZ Reference Centre). The search terms used were “sense of belonging” (without using the quotation marks). The search was further refined to “A & NZ Magazines”.

The link below requires subscription access, so check your school library or its home page for access to this or other databases. New South Wales residents can also access online databases through their local public libraries and the State Library of NSW. Request a Reader’s Card from SLNSW and access databases from home.

Taylor, R. (2008, October). HOME IS WHERE the heart is. Wild: Australia’s Wilderness Adventure Magazine, Retrieved February 3, 2009, from Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre database.