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Deadly, Unna? is a work of teenage fiction and is Phillip Gwynne's debut novel.[1] Set in a small coastal town in South Australia, it is a rites-of-passage story about the interracial friendship between Australian rules football
Australian rules football
teammates Gary "Blacky" Black, a white boy, and Nunga Dumby Red. The novel is written from Blacky's point of view and covers the period leading up to the local football grand final and the summer after. A film adaptation, Australian Rules was released in 2002.

Contents

1 Plot 2 Film adaptation 3 Awards 4 References 5 External links

Plot[edit] The novel is set the small town in South Australia, where the whites, or "Goonyas" live in "The Port", while the Nungas, the Aboriginals, live in "The Point". We are told very early in the text that the separate towns where the whites and the aborigines lived "didn't have too much to do with one another", and this establishes the conflict that challenges Blacky and his sense of justice and loyalty throughout the text. Blacky tells us, in a colloquial manner, of the various personalities of the town. We also learn of his large family of three sisters and three brothers; heavy drinking, hard hitting father, 'He only sat down to eat with us when the pub was closed'; and gentle, patient but exhausted mother. Blacky has a friend from the Point, Dumby, and a friend from the town, Pickles. Dumby is the best player in the team but this is not recognised, as is obvious on grand final day. As the novel opens, Blacky is worried about the imminent grand final and the responsibility he carries as the team’s new first ruck. His opponent will be the unstoppable "Thumper". To protect himself, Blacky has devised the ‘Thumper tackle’ which is the ultimate defence of the coward: it looks like he is trying to tackle his opponent but is really an elaborate dodge. For the majority of the game Blacky keeps himself out of harm's way but near the death he inadvertently steps into the path of the Thumper leaving him concussed yet causing sufficient impedance to the Thumper such that time expires before a scoring shot at goal could be registered resulting in a win to Blacky's Port side. During the teams after-party however, the coach's son is given the honour of the Best On Ground award, which he believes should have been bestowed upon Dumby Red, the star player of the team. Soon after the news reports that Dumby and his two brothers have been shot dead while robbing a Public Bar, resulting in the breakdown of Blacky's emotional life. Blacky spends much of that winter dodging responsibility in a similar manner. By the end of the following summer, however, he understands the importance of making a stand and is able to do so. His brothers and sisters join him in his stand and the novel ends with Blacky at peace with himself, happy in his relationship with his siblings, and confident that he will be able to deal with the problems that will come with the morning. Just before the grand final Blacky meets Clarence, Dumby's younger sister. During the celebratory after party Clarence and Blacky have the starts of a racially forbidden romance, this is explored in the second book, Nukkin Ya. Racism confronts Blacky and he is more and more aware that he thinks very differently from many of the townspeople. The turning point comes when Dumby is killed soon after Presentation Night while taking part in an armed holdup. Blacky attends Dumby's funeral and by doing so makes a stand. The book was eventually adapted into a movie called 'Australian Rules' Film adaptation[edit] Main article: Australian rules (film) The 2002 film Australian Rules is based on this novel.[2] Awards[edit]

Children's Book of the Year Award: Older Readers (1999) Victorian Premier's Prize for Young Adult Fiction (1999)

References[edit]

^ Austin, Keith (2008-08-15). "The rules of engagement". Books section. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-04-09.  ^ Australian Rules on IMDb

Deadly Unna?, Softcover edition (ISBN 0-14-130049-3)

External links[edit]

Children and Young Adult Literature portal

"Misrule: The Home of Australian's Books Online"

v t e

Children's Book of the Year Award
Children's Book of the Year Award
for Older Readers

1946–1949

The Story of Karrawingi the Emu by Leslie Rees (1946) Shackleton's Argonauts: A Saga of the Antarctic Icepacks by Frank Hurley (1948)

1950–1959

Whalers of the Midnight Sun by Alan Villiers
Alan Villiers
(1950) Verity of Sydney Town by Ruth C. Williams (1951) The Australia
Australia
Book by Eve Pownall (1952) Aircraft of Today and Tomorrow by James H. Martin & W. D. Martin (1953) Good Luck to the Rider by Joan Phipson (1953) Australian Legendary Tales
Australian Legendary Tales
by K. Langloh Parker
K. Langloh Parker
(1954) The First Walkabout by Norman B. Tindale and Harold Arthur Lindsay (1955) The Crooked Snake
The Crooked Snake
by Patricia Wrightson (1956) The Boomerang Book of Legendary Tales edited by Enid Moodie Heddle (1957) Tiger in the Bush by Nan Chauncy (1958) Devil's Hill by Nan Chauncy (1959) Sea Menace by John Gunn (1959)

1960–1969

All the Proud Tribesmen by Kylie Tennant
Kylie Tennant
(1960) Tangara by Nan Chauncy (1961) The Racketty Street Gang by L. H. Evers (1962) Rafferty Rides a Winner by Joan Woodberry (1962) The Family Conspiracy by Joan Phipson (1963) The Green Laurel
The Green Laurel
by Eleanor Spence (1964) Pastures of the Blue Crane
Pastures of the Blue Crane
by H. F. Brinsmead (1965) Ash Road
Ash Road
by Ivan Southall (1966) The Min-Min by Mavis Thorpe Clark
Mavis Thorpe Clark
(1967) To the Wild Sky by Ivan Southall (1968) When Jays Fly to Barbmo by Margaret Balderson (1969)

1970–1979

Uhu by Annette Macarthur-Onslow (1970) Bread and Honey by Ivan Southall (1971) Longtime Passing by H. F. Brinsmead (1972) Family at the Lookout by Noreen Shelley (1973) The Nargun and the Stars
The Nargun and the Stars
by Patricia Wrightson (1974) Fly West by Ivan Southall (1976) The October Child by Eleanor Spence (1977) The Ice is Coming by Patricia Wrightson (1978) The Plum-Rain Scroll by Ruth Manly (1979)

1980–1989

Displaced Person by Lee Harding (1980) Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park
Ruth Park
(1981) The Valley Between by Colin Thiele
Colin Thiele
(1982) Master of the Grove by Victor Kelleher (1983) A Little Fear by Patricia Wrightson (1984) The True Story of Lilli Stubeck by James Aldridge
James Aldridge
(1985) The Green Wind by Thurley Fowler (1986) All We Know by Simon French (1987) So Much to Tell You
So Much to Tell You
by John Marsden (1988) Beyond the Labyrinth by Gillian Rubinstein (1989)

1990–1999

Came Back to Show You I Could Fly by Robin Klein (1990) Strange Objects by Gary Crew (1991) The House Guest by Eleanor Nilsson (1992) Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (1993) The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody
Isobelle Carmody
(1994) Angel's Gate by Gary Crew (1995) Foxspell by Gillian Rubinstein (1995) Pagan's Vows by Catherine Jinks (1996) A Bridge to Wiseman's Cove by James Moloney
James Moloney
(1997) Eye to Eye by Catherine Jinks (1998) Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne (1999)

2000–2009

48 Shades of Brown
48 Shades of Brown
by Nick Earls (2000) Wolf on the Fold by Judith Clarke (2001) Forest by Sonya Hartnett (2002) The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak
(2003) Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (2004) The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer (2005) The Story of Tom Brennan by J. C. Burke (2006) Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan (2007) The Ghost's Child by Sonya Hartnett (2008) Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Shaun Tan
(2009)

2010–present

Jarvis 24 by David Metzenthen (2010) The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett (2011) The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner (2012) Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (2013) Wildlife by Fiona Wood (2014) The Protected by Claire Zorn (2015)

Picture Book (1955–present) Early Childhood (2001–present) Younger Readers (1982–present) Eve Pownall Award for Information Book

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