I love this trilogy so much that I have to share with you my review of it from The Scotsman last month:
Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel (Templar £6.99) is the concluding book in Michael Gerard Bauer’s trilogy revolving around Ishmael and his friends. It had me by turns hysterical with laughter, deep in thought and in floods of tears. When I finished it I was devastated because I knew there was no more. Readers who don’t know Ishmael will want to start at the beginning (Don’t Call Me Ishmael and Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs) in order to get to know the boys and live with them as they progress through high school in Australia. Bauer’s writing is deceptively simple, easy to read and dialogue driven. He meets difficult issues head on and allows his characters to deal with them. The characterisation is truly outstanding: even the fringe characters leap off the page as they interact, grow and develop. The plot twists and turns entirely believably, creating a world that even your fortysomething female reviewer would like to inhabit. Be a part of Ishmael’s world.
Please go and find these books and read them and pass them on to teenagers you know. And don’t judge them by their covers. I was very nearly put off by them. Now I’m so glad that I opened the first book and started reading.