Twelve-year-old Bella Kerr is a darts prodigy. And when she finds out that her little brother's special schooling is at risk because of lack of money, Bella secretly enters a darts competition at the local pub. The "old boys'" network of darts players are not happy - none more than the gold-suited charmer, Frankie "Goldfinger" Phillips - a five-time national champion, who will do anything to stop Bella qualifying for nationals.
Laced with humour and chock-full of nail-biting drama, this award-winning book is story-telling at its best! Guthrie writes with a lightness of touch that makes a game of darts compelling reading!
Winner of the Storylines 2018 Tim Fitzgibbon Award.
I wasn't expecting great things from Bullseye Bella, I was simply expecting to while away a couple of hours with a decent book... Instead I found myself laughing out loud, thinking 'this would be fab as a movie' in parts and feeling the tension along with Bella as she moves through the world of competitive darts.
Bella is just an average kid, she doesn't stand out in school and she pretty much keeps to herself. Her sidekick in this book is her younger brother, Max (though predominately called Blackbeard at his insistence) who has Aspergers and is her motivation for joining a local competition. The story moves into things pretty quickly and Bella, with her little brother in tow, end up at the local bar, with Bella hoping to win some money to help keep her brother in his special school. Whilst there she meets a few who'll become friends and then Carver, who ain't too happy to play against a child. Eventually Bella ends up in a national championship, which brings a whole set of troubles and nerves with it.
Bella is such a well thought out, well written character. Sure, she might be a darts prodigy but beyond that she's still just your typical twelve year old child. She gets nervous, easily thrown off her game, scared, cries and when her nerves get the best of her she throws up. She felt so real and relatable, James Guthrie has given us a superb character. Blackbeard is hilarious and provides an element of humour to the book, which is good when the tension really heats up in parts. Franklie 'Goldfinger' Phillips is the main 'villain' of the book, he's charming and charismatic, but we are given little hints as to what's hiding underneath that facade and by the end of the book his true colours are shown.
This book has a good range of emotions, I laughed, I felt sad for Bella and the tension was real when Bella gets to the big time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would love to see it made to hit the big screen. Well worth the read.
Random listing from 'Books'...
What's the only thing with more stuff in it than a Neanderthal's vomit?
This book, of course! It's not called the Book of Stuff for nothing. It's totally loaded with stuff. There's funny stuff and interesting stuff. Gross stuff and puzzling stuff. Plus heaps of stuff about dinosaurs and Neanderthals. Some of it's even true!
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