Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel

Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel

The Laugh-Out-Loud Conclusion to the Ishmael Story.


Michael Gerard Bauer


Price : $19.99
Ages: 9 +

ISBN: 978-1-86291-917-4


Ahh high School, remember it?  Though we may try hard to forget there is much that we have gained in our life from our experiences at high school.  It is that period in our life when we start to find our feet and our place in the world.  If you are fortunate enough to be an Ishmael fan and to have read the previous 2 Ishmael publications then you are a step ahead of me and I am slightly jealous (well very jealous, ok!).   It didn’t matter though as I could completely dive into the pages and follow every word.  And while I am exposing my insecurities I am going to tell you a secret…. I am in love with Ishmael Leseur.  There I said it.  Well you would be too, I mean seriously.  He is sweet and sincere, he is smart and has these really cute insecurities.  He is brilliant on the debate team and is one of those guys that does what he thinks is right at the time.  He occasionally put’s his foot in his mouth but that is a pretty common problem at high school; I think it is actually contagious.  Oh and he suffers from Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome.

But alas I am no Kelly Falkner.


Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel is brilliantly written by Michael Gerard Bauer.  The characters are fantastic, all perfect examples of kids you may have gone to school with (or been yourself).  They are plump with life and realism, quirks, talents, weaknesses, eccentricities and varying abilities.  The humour is like a perfectly timed comedic performance.  I sat with my head in the pages giggling hopelessly to my self through the entire book.  Michael Gerard Bauer conjures up images of the awkward teenage years in the most amusingly well placed way.  I must also take my hat of to MGB for making Shakespeare awesome!


This book will have you laughing, cheering loudly for the accomplishments of the fellow students and getting right into the school spirit of things.  As well as the Ish-man’s (he lets me call him that) personal journey (it’s a girl thing), there is also the fab fives (Ignatius, Scobie, Razzman and Bill with Ishmael) challenge of winning that ever elusive college cup as their big gift to the hands down best teacher in the world Miss Tarango.  You know that is going to be an epic challenge with last being the average score on most sporting and talent accomplishments.  But when you have the fab five’s personal assortment of skills nothing is impossible.  Surely!


Ok, ok so I don’t just love Ishmael, I love them all!

Here is a little taste:


“Razz really did try to work his ‘magic’ and help me find a partner.  He dragged me along to a couple of parties and dances with him and Sally, but I didn’t end up meeting anyone.  It wasn’t Razz’s fault. I’m pretty useless in those make-a-quick-impression situations. They’re fine if you’re a Brad type like Jess’s boyfriend.  Girls just take one look and say, ‘Great, I’ll have one of those!’ But if you’re like me, it’s more, ‘hmmmmmmmm, haven’t you got anything else?’ I need time to grow on people.  A bit like mould.”


I absolutely loved this book, like hot donuts and chocolate fudge love. I am going to get myself the rest of the series, I have catching up to do!!!


A Bug in a Book recommended review by Angela Hall.