Side by Side – In the Beginning

Its 1916… It’s World War I… Melbourne is in the darkest depths of a Depression. Charlie is about to see his first ever footy match with his Dad. Australia’s most famous football Club, Collingwood, is playing. Charlie may be cold, hungry and penniless but he learns a true lesson about what it means to be a Collingwood supporter. He finds out how the club formed, why everyone hates Collingwood and why their famous players are so revered. Mesmerised, he soon realises what it feels like to ‘belong’ and from there on Collingwood is in his heart forever. This is a Chapter Books for 5 – 10 year olds, click here to enjoy literacy and numeracy Teaching Resources for Side by Side.


To get to where you want to go, you first need to understand where you have come from. Side by Side by Neridah McMullin has reinforced that belief for me. Two great loves of my life are represented in this book. They are the game of Australian Rules Football and the Colllingwood Football Club and they are represented through the greatest love of all, between a father and his son.

Nathan Buckley, Australian Rules Football Champion and Coach of the Collingwood Football Club

About the author

I had the perfect childhood surrounded. I was surrounded by animals, cats and dogs (kittens and puppies too, of course) canaries, doves, chickens and ducks (yep, chicks and ducklings), turtles, ferrets, rabbits, cattle and sheep (calves and lambs) and horses and foals. And I had a thousand acres to run around in – they were happy days and that’s why I write for children.

My Grandfather was a stockman and he bred, trained and raced his own racehorses. I spent hours in the saddle as a child, riding with my cousin. We’d hang out in the stables, watching all the comings and goings. There was trackwork, yearlings being broken in, young horses being educated, farriers shoeing racehorses. It was a busy place. We’d help where we could and afterwards, we’d sit around on upturned feed buckets and listen to stories.

Read more about Neridah

Neridah McMullin

Photo By: Prue Sheed