Publisher's synopsis

Meet Tariq Nader, leader of ‘The Wolf Pack’ at Punchbowl High, who has been commanded by the new principal to join a football competition with his mates in order to rehabilitate the public image of their school. When the team is formed, Tariq learns there’s a major catch – half of the team is made up of white boys from Cronulla, aka enemy territory – and he must compete with their strongest player for captaincy of the team.

At school Tariq thinks he has life all figured out until he falls for a new girl called Jamila, who challenges everything he thought he knew. At home, his outspoken ways have brought him into conflict with his family. Now, with complications on all fronts, he has to dig deep to control his anger, and find what it takes to be a leader.

In confronting and often hilarious situations, Tariq’s relationships with his extended Lebanese family and his friends are tested like never before, and he comes to learn that his choices can have serious consequences.

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  • Shortlisted, 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, Young Adult Literature
  • Highly Commended, 2021 Australian Book Design Awards, Best Designed Young Adult Cover
  • Shortlisted, 2021 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature
  • Shortlisted, 2021 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Multicultural NSW Award
  • Shortlisted, 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Writing for Young Adults
  • Shortlisted, 2021 Russell Prize for Humour Writing
  • Shortlisted, 2021 Readings Young Adult Prize
  • Longlisted, 2021 Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year for Older Children (13+)
  • Notable, 2021 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award for Older Readers