Review + Teachers’ Notes: ‘Maxi the Lifeguard: The Stormy Protest’
Title: ‘Maxi the Lifeguard: The Stormy Protest’
Author: Trent Maxwell and David Lawrence
Illustrator: Peter Baldwin
Publisher: Affirm Press
Themes: surf lifesaving; lifeguards; rescue; family; friendship; goal setting; community engagement; teamwork; caring for the environment; protest.
Age Range: middle primary – upper primary
Click on cover image or title links to read more.
You can also buy books directly from Maxi’s website here.
Trent Maxwell is better known as ‘Maxi’ the Lifeguard from the TV series ‘Bondi Rescue’. Maxi began his professional lifeguard career at the sweet age of 16 years and has become a one of one of ‘Bondi Rescue’s’ most popular characters. Maxwell is now a firefighter for NSW Fire and Rescue as well as part-time lifeguard and has gained an amazing global profile.
‘Maxi the Lifeguard: The Stormy Protest’ has strong environmental messages and empowers young people to use voice to make a difference in their community. When Maxi and his friend Felix discover that someone has been dumping rubbish into the ocean near Bondi, they are furious. Who would do such a thing, and why won’t anyone take them seriously when they report it? When Maxi and Felix decide to organise a community protest, organising publicity and flyers becomes the least of their concerns…
‘The Stormy Protest’ is the second book in his ‘Maxi the Lifeguard’ series and has recently won out one of my favourite children’s literature awards, The Environment Award for Children’s Literature awarded by The Wilderness Society. The Wilderness Society’s annual Award encourages children to take an interest in nature and feel a sense of responsibility for the places we love and our unique wildlife. ‘Maxi the Lifeguard: The Stormy Protest’ won the fiction category, with ‘The All New Must Have Orange 430’ (Michael Speechley) winning in the picture book category (see our review and teachers’ notes here) and ‘Bouncing Back: An Eastern Barred Bandicoot Story’ (Rohan Cleave & Coral Tulloch) taking our the non-fiction award.
On winning the award Maxi said:
“There is still a long way to go but we are starting to realise the impact we are having on the environment, especially around the ocean. I’m so glad I can share with children this important environmental message through our Maxi the Lifeguard series so that future generations are more aware of the implication of our actions.Winning this award will raise some much-needed awareness around the stories in the books. My goal is for every child, no matter their location or background, to have access to the books and learn the lessons in them. I want every school library in Australia to have a copy of these books.”
Maxi is the youngest ever professional Lifeguard to patrol Australia’s famous Bondi Beach. He has starred in 12 seasons of Bondi Rescue, which airs in more than 100 countries. In 2018, Maxi launched ‘Live Learn Survive’ with business partner Leigh Mason. ‘Live Learn Survive’ is a fire and water safety education program. In the past 18 months, Maxi has spoken to more than 7000 children, in four countries, across 20 cities, working with more than 40 schools and children’s groups.
FOLLOW IT UP IN THE HOME, CLASSROOM OR LIBRARY
- Beach Safety Education, understanding beach signage and how to stay safe at the beach
- Surf Education, recognising a rip, and learning where is it safe to swim?
- Survival skills if you find yourself in trouble in open water
- Self-Care in the sun, how to look after and protect your health in summer
- Question and Answer Session to re-cap learning
- Opportunity for every child to receive the Maxi the Lifeguard fun, educational fictional book
More information here.
You can also buy your Maxi the Lifeguard books from Maxi directly here and they come with a signed postcard. On the website they also offer the option to ‘gift a book’ to a school or child, an option I think is outstanding and speaks volumes about where Maxi’s heart is at. This page of the website here has a map which shows where books have been gifted around the world. He and business partner Leigh are delightful and are dedicated to spreading the word about the power of stories and literacy and the vital importance of educating young people in all things fire and water safety. Cannot recommend their workshops more highly.