Children’s novel:

“I suppose things aren’t really back to normal yet after Susie’s accident – I don’t know if they ever will be.

Sensei suggested we all keep a journal. I started karate to learn how to fight, not write! But the more time I spend around Sensei the more time I find myself thinking – and not just about karate!

I have to work really hard to get my black belt, but karate isn’t exactly what I thought it was – it’s much, much more. And somehow I’ve got to figure it out!”

Published by Harper Collins, Australia 1994.

  • Children’s Book Council – Notable Book 1995.
  • NSW State Literary Awards 1994 – Short listed.
  • KOALA Awards 1995 – Short listed.
  • Children’s Peace Literature Award 1995 – Commendation.
  • Family Therapy Association Awards 1995 – Commendation.  

With time, and patience, and practice, James learns the lesson for everyone – we are what we think we are. BLACK BELT has loads of appeal – it’s funny, moving, exciting and full of a sense of expectation as James strives towards gaining a black belt.
Viewpoint, Vol 2, No. 4, Summer 1994.

BLACK BELT tells us to keep hoping, to maintain our faith and to bear out the storm. It’s a quiet, understated novel but contains true honesty which make it a real joy to read, and a special find.
“rippa reading”, Issue 43, June 1994.

The truths explored in BLACK BELT are often difficult to accept. To fight injustice with injustice seems to come naturally while other reactions which offer better long-term outcomes often seem unfair at the time. Plüss skilfully describes the passage of learning which leads to growth and maturity.
A challenging and thought provoking book for upper primary children.

Courier Mail (Brisbane) Saturday, 26 March 1994.

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