ishmael and the hoops of steel

Ishmael has made it to the Senior School and things are really looking up. His nemesis and chief tormentor Barry Bagsley has finally decided to leave him alone, while his dream girl and chief goddess Kelly Faulkner has finally decided not to. Has he broken free of Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome at last? Could his remaining two years At St Daniel’s College actually be described as ‘normal’?

Absolutely not.  




“Ishmael Leseur is the world’s only known sufferer of ILS (Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome)—an affliction responsible for revealing his innermost idiot to the world. Ishmael hopes senior school will see a turn in his fortunes, until he learns the girl of his dreams has moved to New Zealand weeks after their first kiss. Luckily he’s surrounded by a wonderfully eclectic group of friends, and together they navigate all that life can throw at a senior school student.

Choices and consequences are two themes subtly explored in this novel, but what really grips the reader are the characters and the friendships that bond them through all kinds of surprising revelations. Not since Fiona Wood’s Six Impossible Things have I been so beguiled by a teenage narrator’s honesty and humour—there’s barely a page where I didn’t laugh out loud at a unique comment or observation, delivered in a wonderful teen vernacular — which the author nails, without being condescending to a 15-plus reader. This is the third and final book in Michael Gerard Bauer’s ‘Ishmael’ series.” (James Paull – bookseller for Books Plus, Bathurst)

I absolutely loved this book, like hot donuts and chocolate fudge love. I am going to get myself the rest of the series, I have catching up to do!!! (A Bug in a Book – Angela Hall) 


   Hooping Man

         German Edition

TEACHERS NOTES: Scholastic Australia


  • Shortlisted for the Children’s Peace Literature Awards 2011
  • Shortlisted 2012 CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers.

91 Responses to ishmael and the hoops of steel

  1. Karen Keighery says:

    A front page newspaper photo of Emma Watson, distraught and in tears at the screening of the very last Harry Potter movie reminded me of how I felt as I finished Gerard Michael Bauer’s concluding book in the Ischmael series. This series, set in a Catholic boys high school follows the life of Ischmael. In this third book, Ischmael and the Hoops of Steel, he and his four friends confront some of the issues you’d expect in Years 11 & 12. The trilogy charts their growing-up with the first book dealing with bullying. A hallmark of these books, is the fact that they are seriously funny and this book is no exception; there are so many lol bits in Bauer’s depictions of the characters and their antics. Buaer is a ‘master of analogy’ and so he explains the relevance of Shakespeare, the concept of ‘reverse cool’ and how-to ‘come out’. For me, this book was a slow to start and it wasn’t until 140 pages or so with the introduction of some conflict that the book took off for me. It turned out to be a fabulous ride – the best ever, I just loved this book. My only lament is, that I wished I had of read them in closer succession, fully versed in the characters and their journeys. So lucky you! You’re in for a real treat as you can now read the trilogy in one go.
    Initially, I was disturbed by the cover artwork; what does it mean? Having seen Bauer explain the relevance of the first Ischmael cover on Youtube, I found the bright red cover and yellow titles with characters shown in miniature, comic dress-up to be an enormous departure from the previous covers which are more somber and thoughtful. However, after reading this text, this change is in keeping with the upbeat resolution of this story.
    Like all good comedy amidst the laughs you’ll find truths that give this book real substance. For me, this series has personal significance, as I carried the first book into an interview for a job as a teacher librarian in Catholic boys schools. This was a career change for me and one of the first books I read on my quest to become YA lit. literate. I whole-heartedly recommend this series, it’s an absolute standout, as rarely do you get ‘the slice of life’ with so many laughs. Yes, I did get the job. Clutching the book really wasn’t an intentional strategy; I just couldn’t put the book down!

    Michael, I hope you like my review. Karen

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Karen
      Thank you so much for that. I liked the review very much indeed! The first two Ishmaels have been re-issued in new covers by the same designer who did the new Hoops of Steel one so now they look like a set. I like them a lot although I have a personal bias to the original covers my son created of course! Thanks once again for those lovely comments Karen and for posting the review. So pleased you got the job!
      Cheers Michael.

  2. brian says:

    Hey Mr. Bauer my class in school have read your book don’t call me Ishmael and we really liked it so I decided to borrow Ishmael and the return of the dugongs which is an amazing book I read and I cant wait for the hoops of steel to come to our school library at Blackfriars priory school in Adelaide Australia which you had visited. i hope that you are working on another book relating to Ishmael.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Brian. Thanks so much for your comment and I’m really glad you enjoyed the first two Ishmaels. Hoops of Steel covers yrs 11 & 12 and ends on Graduation Night for the boys. Sadly it will probably be the last Ishmael book. Hope you like it. I ve been to Blackfriars at least three times. Always enjoy my visit there and catching up with Pat Patience in the library. Hopefully I’ll get there again, maybe next year. If I do, make sure you say hello!

  3. Emi says:

    th-there’s a third book!! I AM SO INCREDIBLY STOKED!!
    can’t believe it! :) i can’t wait to read it!

    hmm, but i do think i prefer the older covers, they seem to match the young adult genre a bit more.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Emi
      Sure is a third one – covering Yrs 11 & 12. So glad you’re excited about it. I really ‘hoop’ you like it. Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! I’ve got a soft spot for the original covers too because my son Joe created them. The first one when he was in Grade 12. He drew the cartoon and made all the props including the Ringo Peg Doll and took the photo.
      Cheers and thanks for dropping by!

  4. Bella says:

    hi Michael

    I just discovered last night you had written a third book and it made my day ! I have read this series so many times and I just absolutely love how it’s an accurate representation of Australian ‘school’ life. Not only that but you have developed great characters who I’ve grown very attached to and will be sorry to say goodbye to ! I will pick up a copy of the book today but no doubt I’ll be glued to it start to finish !

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Bella
      Thank you so much for that comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the first two books. It was great fun writing them and the characters are very real to me. I hope you like the third and final book as much. I ended it the way I always wanted to and I must admit I had a few ‘moist eye moments’ writing some of the final scenes. Would love to hear what you think. (Unless of course you hate it and then that can be your little secret!)

      • Bella says:

        HI Michael

        I finished the book within a few hours of finally getting my hands on it ! I was very very very sad to see goodbye to the fab five at the end and I can’t deny, I was pretty teary ! I really enjoyed ‘Hoops of Steel’ though and it was a fantastic read start to finish (: I know I will reread this book many times as I have with your others ! What I really enjoyed doing was looking back to Ishmael in Year 9 and realising how much he had matured and grown and I felt almost like a proud parent waving goodbye ! Thank you so so so much for writing these amazing books, they have provided me with many hours of reading pleasure (:

      • mgbauer says:

        Hi Bella
        Thank you so much for those beautiful comments and for following Ishmael’s journey through to the end. I really do appreciate it and it’s feedback like yours that makes being a published author such a joy and an honour.

  5. laelle says:

    i love Ishmael book is awsome

  6. Alex says:

    When I first read Don’t Call Me Ishmael I was a lowly year eight and (no surprises here) a year later when Return of the Dugongs was first released I was an even lowlier year nine. I fell in love with both books straight away. There were the laugh out loud moments that made my mother turn at me and ask what my problem was, the times that can only be described as cringeworthy (the Ringo-in-the-pants or the pool-cordial incident are both excellent examples of this) that made me want to shut the book for a moment and work up the courage to read it and of course the times where I was engulfed in a full body shiver (how-prue-got-the-name-prue or the poem Ishmael writes Kelly). I very much related to Ishmael’s narrative voice and saw a lot of myself in his character. I credit the first two books as factors in my journey towards becoming a happier, more confident me throughout years ten, eleven and twelve.
    Fast forward four years. Until a week ago, it had been a long time since I’d read the first two books but by chance I discovered that a third book had been released… Immediately I began the journey again.. My high school years came flooding back to me as I fell in love with Ishmael, Razza, Scobie, Prindabel, Bill and every other larger than life character you created.

    Here I am.. hours after finishing The Hoops of Steel (another gem) and all I can think to do is thank you wholeheartedly for sharing my adolescent journey with me. I will be very sad to see Ishmael and his unique view on life disappear, yet I can look back with nothing but fond memories.

    Thank you again Michael.
    From a very grateful Adelaide fan,

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Alex
      What a beautiful comment to receive. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. It was a real joy to get the chance to create the series and the characters have become very real and special to me.
      I must admit that writing the final scenes in Hoops of Steel was a pretty emotional experience. Miss Tarango’s words of farewell to the boys were like mine own and I can’t read them or Ishmael and Razz’s last conversation together without getting a little choked up.
      Alex it was so lovely to hear you say how Ishmael and his journey has accompanied you on yours. It means a great deal to me. Thank you again for your comment – better than any award I could receive.

  7. Mel says:

    To Mr Bauer (heck I might as well call you the supreme king of words and humor),
    Well, Supreme-King-of-Words-and-Humor, I cannot tell you how much I adore this book. I read the first book when I was 12, the second when I was 13 and now finally the third at 14 (Yes! Finally the same age as Ishmael in the first!) and by each installment Ishmael’s adventures have gotten riper and funnier than ever. You are by far my favourite comedic writer and I will always remember this series by binding it to my heart with steel hoops and, just for extra measure, carbon nanotubes. I didn’t think I would ever find a book on Earth which would make me laugh at pretty much every page I turn. My favourite bit from the third would have to be the first and last appearance of the full moon in the volley-ball court. It warms my cheeks whenever I think about it, such fond memories. But along with the humor, the Hamlet insights were gold. I’m a bit of a Shakespeare fan myself, don’t mind a bit of Romeo and Juliet, but each extract from Hamlet was translated beautifully from Scobie and completely ridiculed by Razz with his constant muddling-up of words which simply sound similar. I must say, you speak the language of teens very well! Sometimes reading about the Fabulous Five made me want to be a boy and join St. Daniels.

    Thank-you so much, Supreme-King-of-Words-and-Humor, for creating such a brilliant series, I’ll miss the Fab Five but I’ll be on a look-out for more of your unworldly hilarious creations.


    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Mel
      Call me Michael! (Although I must admit Supreme-King-of-Words-and-Humour does have a very nice ring to it.)
      Thank you so much for all those super-generous comments. Ishmael and the boys and the other ‘characters’ are very important and real to me and so it’s lovely when someone else seems to feel the same way about them. And yes Bill’s full moon, one of my favourites too – such a touching scene! Pleased to hear that you got plenty of laughs from the book. It might seem a little weird but the first time I tried to read my wife that scene where Razz gets the lines from Hamlet all wrong, I couldn’t do it because I kept laughing too much.
      I’m very impressed that you are a Shakespeare fan and judging from your email I’m guessing you’re a top English student as well. As for wanting to be a boy Mel – DON’T DO IT! It would break too many hearts. I think you and Kelly Faulkner might have a lot in common.
      Thanks again Mel. It was so nice to read your comment. You are totally rigid! Drop by again any time or at my facebook page Michael Gerard Bauer Author.
      Michael (S.K.O.W.A.H.)

      • Mel says:

        Hi S.K.O.W.A.H,
        Thanks but no thanks, I can’t call you by your first name- I don’t do that to my own teachers in school so why should I do so to the teachers of my life!? Just dropped by to say congratulations on winning the CBCA Older Readers Shortlist for Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel!!!!!!
        At my school’s library, we have to write reviews on the books up for the shortlist as part of celebrating book week and I wanted to review your book, but (as the blabber mouth that I am) I told my librarian/teacher that I had already read it in the previous year and loved it. In order to spread the love of Ishmael and the Fab Five, I bravely accepted the denial of the opportunity to brag and advertise your supreme-ness in words and humor in addition towards the chance of re-reading it. It’s o.k, (*sniff) my heart will go on… maybe next year…(*blows nose) my chance, you know, might come again with another one of your books… (*dabs eyes with corner of handkerchief) even though it’s over you could… oh, I don’t know, MAYBE… write a spin-off?
        I think the Razzman would be awestruck if that were to happen.
        Ahh, me and my wishful thinking, DON’T TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY- no pressure whatsoever as I am more than happy to read your other works (give me time I’LL GET TO THEM ASAP- the librarians… they advertise so many books, it’s hard to resist sire). I understand that it’s not fair to restrict your talent to just one series and as an artist (and King as your side-job) it is your right to expand on different projects and inspire people with different forms of expression (not just the language of teens).
        Oh, don’t be impressed, I liked Romeo and Juliet because of Leo DiCaprio (when he was young of course and had a bounty of looks to swoon teen girls). Yes, deep inside I’m the one for the looks, and with this remark, you might just want to reconsider grouping me with Kelly… wait on second thoughts I take that back because that only admits that I thought Ismael is ugly which he ISN’T… personally I thought he was the prince charming out of the group… uhhhh, thy’s point might be valid?

        Woah, anyway, this “congratulations” seems to have turned into a rant. My apologies in advance sire, thou will try to restrict thy’s time on “fan-mail” in the near future.
        LOL, byeeeee!

      • mgbauer says:

        Aaaaah Mel, a post from you always brightens my day! Thank you so much for the congratulations on the shortlisting of Hoops. It was a fantastic surprise to me. I loved all the other books on the list and was stoked that my good friend Scot Gardner won for his amazing and gritty novel The Dead I Know. At the moment I’m writing to you from Edinburgh Scotland where I’m attending the Book Festival here. It’s a great city. The first two Ishmaels have been released in the UK and the last one comes out next year. I had a couple of days in London and while I was there we filmed a trailer for each of the books. They were a lot of fun with props like electric guitars, basketballs and a hoop (which sadly I was hopeless at!) Anyway sometime in the future they will appear on You Tube and I’m sure will be hugely embarrassing and cringe-worthy. Something to look forward to! Cheers Showah.

  8. jazza1134 says:

    Hi i am reading your third and last book..
    it’s the best coz it’s soo funny and awesome…
    Even though some of the text is more for older highschoolers.. I still love it!
    Almost finished it and I DON’T WANT THE Series to END!

  9. mgbauer says:

    Hi Jazza! Thanks so much for saying that. Hope you like the ending. It made me a bit sad to finsh the series. Thanks for reading all three books. Cheers Michael

  10. dragondav3 says:

    Hey Michael,
    I simply cannot wait to read the conclusion to the Ishmael series. You probably don’t remember me, but seeing you at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival with your segment of “How to Write Funny” back in 2007 when I was a year 7 (and when Return of the Dugongs was coming out) is what inspired me to read the Ishmael series. I still have the ticket stub from the show and the first two novels signed by you. I still read them every few months now more than 4 years later. They just never seem to get old. Thanks for all the brilliant memories!

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi David
      Thanks so much David! It really is lovely to receive a comment like yours. The Ishmael series is very special to me. In the Acknowledgements at the front of Hoops of Steel you will read this:

      “Finally, and most sincerely, thank you to every reader who has followed Ishmael from first word to last. I hope you have enjoyed the journey and had some laughs and maybe even shed a happy tear or two along the way. I know I have. It has been a joy and an absolute pleasure (and totally rigid!) to have had your company.”

      Please consider that thank you directed right at yourself David. I really hope HOS lives up to your expectations and that it ends in the right way for you. I tried my best to make it do so. Love to hear what you think.


      • dragondav3 says:

        I finally got my hands on Hoops of Steel today and just finished. Michael you are a comedic genius and brilliant writer. I will always remember how much I have enjoyed this series and I do not doubt that I will reread it again many times in the future. I’m inspired to make my year 12 as big as it can be next year (hoping to take out the Debating Association of Victoria A Grade championship with my hard working team!).
        When it comes right down to it, all I can say is thank you for a wild ride. It has been totally rigid!

      • mgbauer says:

        Hi David
        Thanks so much for that. It’s always a thrill and very humbling to hear that something you’ve written has been such a positive experience for someone else. Best of luck with year twelve. Enjoy the year with your friends and make the most of it. I’d love to hear how you go with the debating. Don’t know exactly where you are but I’ll be in Melbourne visiting schools at some stage next year and possibly at the Melbourne Writers Festival.
        Thanks again making it all the way to the end with Ishmael. The series has a special place in my heart.

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  12. Judy says:

    words can’t describe how great the ishmael and the hoops of steel book was! I wish there were more authors who are able to write stories that are quite comical such as yours and those of Barry Jonsberg, and because of this, you two are my favourite authors. Because i finished yr 12 last year, and i am currently a uni student, ishmael related to me and i often stop in one part of the story and i would reminesce about it, and ever so slowly i would read it , so as to not so quickly finish the book. My favourite character would be miss tarango because there is always one teacher in high school that we always look up to.
    overall, the book was very touching
    from Judii

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Judy
      Thank you so much for your comments (except that bit where you said nice things about Barry Jonsberg because he’s a good friend of mine and he shouldn’t be encouraged otherwise he’ll start thinking he’s better than me!) Being an ex teacher Miss Tarango is a favourite of mine too. I guess she’s the type of teacher every teacher would love to be. As I’ve said before the Ishmael series has a special place in my heart and it’s so lovely when you hear that it has meant something to someone else as well. All the best with the Uni studies. I hope you are binding your friends to you with hoops of steel. Drop by any time.

  13. Erin says:

    I was so happy when I found out there was a third book! I read it in less than a day, and it was amazing! I especially liked Prindabel’s ‘power pointer’. Is this the last one? Please say you’ll write about them at uni! :)

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Erin
      Thank you so much. It’s really lovely to hear that Hoops of Steel lived up to your expectations. As far as I know, at the moment that’s it for Ishmael and the gang. They’ve become very real to me and I have to admit, even though I was happy to be able to complete their school journey, it was sad to think I was writing the final scenes and saying goodbye to them. I knew I would miss them. I hadn’t thought of writing a Uni story but I suppose you never know. Maybe I could do the Razz Diaries. Now that would be interesting!

  14. Dr. Waffles, PhD says:

    To be honest, at the end of the Return of the Dugongs I thought that the series didn’t need another book.
    But I’m glad it does. Can’t wait to read it.

    • mgbauer says:

      I hope you like it!

      • Dr. Waffles, PhD says:

        i have, and it was fantastic, but i do not know the poem, not having hamlet on hand at the moment. what was it?

      • mgbauer says:

        That’s great to hear! Do you mean the poem from Hamlet that Kelly sends Ishmael? If so, you don’t need a copy of Hamlet. The quote with page references is in Hoops of Steel at the start of the Year 12 section.

  15. Mini says:

    I finished the book two weeks ago in german (because I am german and currently writing while I’m in Germany) and I loved it like the other books. I was smiling and laughing the whole time and my grandpa and my mom always wondered why I was so happy. I’m a girl and it was very interesting to read a book in a boy’s perspective. I still can’t understand them trough, because I think that Ishmael is a very unique boy. The boys in my class would never wonder what’s wrong with them :)

    I would love to read The Razz Diaries too! Or maybe a book about their children or something. Anyways I really enjoyed your Books and I’m sorry if there are any mistakes in my writing.


    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Mini
      Thank you so much. So glad you had fun with Hoops of Steel. Don’t worry – you write very well. I wish I could speak German as well as you speak English! And good luck in trying to understand those boys in your class!

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  18. Luke O'Neill says:

    Michael Bauer
    im am doing a short book review of your book at the annual children’s book council of Australia (cbca) in Darwin, NT Australia
    i am 14 and i loved your humor and the things you put in the book it is grate it had me in tears at the jokes that you made it is a pleasure that im reviewing this book
    from Luke O’Neill

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Luke
      Thanks so much for your comment and for the review! It’s very much appreciated. If you like Ishmael then you should definitely read The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pit Bull by Barry Jonsberg (a fellow Darwinite) if you haven’t done so already. Barry’s a good friend of mine, but try to keep that a secret. It could damage my reputation!

  19. Mitch Crisp says:

    Mr Bauer,
    I read each book in the same year at school that Ishmael was. It truly was an amazing journey that i undertook and one that i enjoyed wholeheartedly. I just finished Ismael and the Hoops of Steel 20 minutes ago and immediately came to this site to purely tell you that you are sir a brilliant human being and deserve much more recognition. I could relate to so many things in your novel and loved every moment of reading it. Thankyou for entertaining me through these years. I enjoyed every second of my time while reading.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Mitchell
      Thanks so much for getting in touch. And thank you for those very kind and generous comments. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the books. I loved writing them and Ishmael and the rest of the crew are very real to me. It was a bitter/sweet thing to have to write those final chapters of Hoops of Steel. Thanks again for following Ishmael’s journey all the way.

  20. Taylor says:

    I read Don’t Call Me Ishmael, the first book, for literacy at school. I read the book, and I found at funny and interesting. I just finished the second book, Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs and I am looking forward to reading the last book. Razza’s the best.

  21. Hasith says:

    Mr. Bauer I just wanted to say that during the first book ( the only one I have read) I noticed that you have excellent timing with all the jokes you have pulled off. An example is when Razza is tormenting Ishmael in the first book Scobie comes along and burns Ishmael. Do you have any books that you would like to recomend to me. By the way I have read Moby Dick and the old classics.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Hasith
      Thank you for your kind comment. I don’t know how old you are but if you got some laughs from DCM Ishmael, I’m sure you’d like Barry Jonsberg’s The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull and its sequel. If you’re looking for Young Adults reads in general then I’ve listed some of my favourite YA books here in a blog I wrote for the Brisbane City Council Libraries. Hope that helps. And well dome in making it through Moby Dick. A lot of people drown in the words or get swallowed up before the end!

  22. alfred says:

    Please do another ishmael book
    i want to know anything that happens with ishmael and kelly

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Alfred. I haven’t got any plans for Ishmael 4 at present, but who knows …

      • Eli says:

        Hey Michael, I sent you a message quite a long time ago as jazza1134 when I first read Ishmael 3 which was in 2011. Just going back to reading it today, really wish there was a fourth book though in a way the third book had a perfect ending. Thanks for the awesome books :D

      • mgbauer says:

        Hey Eli. How are things? Great to hear from you again. Hope you enjoy Hoops of Steel the second time around. If you’re on facebook, as well as my author page, I now have a page set up just for the Ishmael books at The Ishmael Trilogy – Michael Gerard Bauer. It has updated news and trivia etc specifically about the Ishmael books. Cheers Michael

  23. Eli says:

    Yeah I’m good thanks, having fun reading through it again. I have deactivated my Facebook but ill probably make a new one in a couple of months and ill be sure to like the page. Thanks again, Eli

  24. Taylor says:

    I read Don’t Call Me Ishmael, the first book, for literacy at school. I read the book, and I found at funny and interesting. I just finished the second book, Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs and I am looking forward to reading the last book. Razza’s the best. Please reply.

    • mgbauer says:

      Thanks so much Taylor. I hope you enjoy Hoops and how the story ends. I had a lot of fun writing the series and it was sad to have to say goodbye to the characters who had become very real to me. Cheers Michael

  25. Scott Harding says:

    Dear Michael,

    I have just finished teaching “Don’t Call Me Ishmael” to my Year 8 classes and, I have to say, it is extremely well written and sensitively handled. You have a fine ear for dialogue, sir! I look forward to reading the next two novels in the trilogy, because this is some of the best teenage fiction I have read in a long, long time.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Scott
      Thanks so much for that very kind feedback. I loved writing those books and the characters became very real for me. It was a bitter sweet day when I finished the third book and had to let them go off into the world without me. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. Thanks again for taking the time to post. It is very much appreciated.

  26. Con Georgiadis says:

    Hey Michael, my name is Con and I started reading dont call me Ishmael in year eight English and really enjoyed it. I decided to get the second and that was even better!!! This is the best book series, good job! I am addicted to your books. My favorite character would definitely be Razza.
    Dude you have to make this book into a movie, im very pumped. Thank you sooooooo much.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Con
      Thanks so much for the email. I had a lot of fun writing the Ishmael series and i must admit I’ve got a soft spot for Razz as well. A movie would be exciting but that’s up to Movie makers rather than me. Hope you like the third book if you get around to reading it.

  27. francesco fisco says:

    Hello Michael . I’m italian and i’ve just finished to read’ Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs’ . I even read ‘don’t call me Ishmael’ one years ago . But now i would like to know the end of the story . Do you know when the last book about Ishmael trilogy will translate in italian ?
    Sorry if my english is not very well .

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Francesco
      Thank you for your email – and your English is just fine!
      I would love for the third Ishmael book (Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel) to come out in Italy, but unfortunately the publishers there haven’t bought the rights for it and because it’s been a while since book 2 came out, it doesn’t look like they are going to.
      While all three books have been published in France, UK and Germany, some countries like the USA have just published the first one. I guess it all depends on how well they are received in each place.
      Maybe you could start a protest Francesco!
      Anyway, thank you for your interest and thank you so much for reading the first two Ishmaels and liking them enough to want to read the third.

  28. TIMB1234 says:


  29. Luca Del Negro says:

    Hi Michael,
    I’m italian and I’m 13. I read Don’t call me Ishmael one month ago and I’ ve finish to read Ishmael an the Return of the Dugongs last Sunday. Your books are fantastic!!
    Do you know the date of italian release? Don’t call me Ishmael and Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs was published by Mondadori, but there is only australian edition on Mondadori website.
    Tell me good news please!! I can’ t wait.
    Are you going to write the fourth book? I hope it. Ishmael’s adventure can’t stop now. Do another one please!! Sorry for my bad English. Please reply. Bye Luca.

    P.S.: AC Milan isn’t a good team. FC Internazionale Milano is the best.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Luca
      Thank you for writing and I’m so glad to hear that you have enjoyed the Ishmael books. The first two Ishmael books have been published by Mondadori as you say, but the third and final book which is called Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel in Australia hasn’t been bought by them yet. So I’m sorry, but it looks like Hoops of Steel might not be coming out in Italy. Like you, I wish it was.
      Because the Hoops of Steel ends with the characters leaving school, right now I don’t think there will be a fourth book. But you never know what might happen in the future!
      P.S. You’ll have to argue with Razz about who is the best football team!

  30. Pingback: blog 61: In which Ms Heckenvaal Waltzes onto Centre Stage. | michael gerard bauer – author

  31. Bill says:

    Hey Michael loved the books. Can u plzzzzz make a 4th book with them all in uni together!!!!!

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Bill
      Thanks so much. Great to hear you enjoyed the Ishmael series. At this stage I’m not planning on any more books but you never know.

  32. Bill says:

    And and Melvin yip must be in the book he’s my favourite!

  33. ishmael steele says:

    Hi lol my name is ishmael steel and I on facebook if yuo see,

  34. Noah says:

    I have read this series and have loved it. It would be so good if you could write another book about how Ishmael does at University. It would also be awesome if u could write in Razz’s perspective n see what happens in his personal life and what he thinks. You could also do this with other characters. Im so glad i had to read this book for school! It would be great if u kept writing about ishmael’s future life

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Noah
      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. So glad you enjoyed the Ishmael series. Those books and characters are very close to my heart. At this stage I don’t think there will be a uni story but I have thought about the possibility of writing from another character’s viewpoint so you never know.

      • Noah says:

        It would be great if you could write a 4th. Have you written anything else similar to dont call me ishmael?

      • mgbauer says:

        The Eric vale books are similar but for younger readers. I’m working on a funny book now that has a female narrator around Ishmael’s age.

  35. Noah says:

    Also was there a message or theme you put in Dont call me ishmael?

    • mgbauer says:

      I never start off with a message or theme but as you write a story important ideas and things you believe in tend to come through. I’ll let readers decide what they might be in the Ishmael books.

  36. Noah says:

    Maybe do something on Kelly Faulkner? She has a diary

  37. Noah says:

    I have read the series twice in 5 days!!! U have to do a 4th ASAP! Please

  38. Luca Del Negro says:

    Dear Michael, (or should I call you S.K.O.W.A.H.?)
    one year passed from my last post (scroll up…).
    Unluckily it has been a 2014 without any news about Italian Hoops of Steel’s edition.
    I acknowledge it’s very annoying. Nobody on the net talks about it, even if everyone of your Italian fans are waiting for it surely. I also tried to contact Mondadori some months ago, but they have NOT answered me yet. What a shame!
    Well, here we are in 2015. The Return of the Dugongs came out 5 years ago here. Ridiculous!
    You are my only possibility, OUR only possibilty to read The Hoops of Steel.
    Could you egg that stupid publishing house on? Only the author can make something change. I know that it’s not easy. But we could do something altogether! We can use social networks and launch some hashtags on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, and we address them to Mondadori and (why not?) Scholastic Australia. It’s a great idea, isn’t it? They shall not overlook us.
    I feel hopeful, we won’t give in! I am sure that one day I will have that book in my hands, ready to travel with Ishmael.
    Write me soon,
    P.S.: Watch out! Bad news might make your PC explode! :-)

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Luca

      Thank you for your enthusiasm to see an Italian Hoops of Steel! I think that would be great too. But unfortunately it’s solely in the hands of Mondadori and as you point out, it’s been 5 years now since book two, so the chances of them buying the rights to book 3 after all that time don’t look good. I’d be interested to hear what they have to say if they ever write back to you.

      Maybe who will have to get an Australia or UK edition of Hoops, as your English seems very good.


  39. Doug McKay says:

    Ishmael and the hoops of steel.
    What is Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 116-119 of Hamlet?
    Writing from Texas. All the books are great.
    Just took awhile to find them from a bookseller..

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Doug. Thanks so much for the great feedback all the way from Texas! So glad you got to read all the books in the US. I’ve always been a bit disappointed that the US publisher only published the first book. Apparently it didn’t go as well as they had expected. As for the quote, if you go to the title page for the section Year Twelve Semester One in Hoops of Steel you will find the quote you’re looking for there. :)

  40. Jess says:

    Mr Bauer,
    My name is Jess. I read ‘Don’t Call Me Ishmael’ in Yr 7, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was extremely funny and so relatable as well. I liked how it teaches you that being different is alright, and that you should stand up to the bullies that make life miserable, like Scobie and Ishmael did to Barry Bagsley. It was an awesome book, and had really funny moments that had me laughing like a crazy person. I really hope you may come to our school someday so I can meet you in person!!! Overall I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait for more books like this, or maybe even an Ishmael movie(although I really hope they don’t completely butcher the book as some movies have)!!! Anyway, thanks for writing such an amazing series, you are truly an amazing author and I look forward to more books from you!

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Jess
      Thanks so much for those very kind comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Ishmael series. I had a lot of fun writing it and it was sad to eventually have to say goodbye to the characters. An Ishmael movie would be interesting and exciting. There have already been a few Play versions in Australia and in Germany where the books are popular. I visit a lot of school around Australia each year so one day I might get to yours – if I get an invite!
      Cheers and thanks again for all the positive feedback. Much appreciated and totally rigid!

  41. Sebastian says:

    Hi me Bauer,
    I’ve read the first 2 Ishmael books, my mum bought them for me one day, I thought they were fabulous, they were very funny, I’ll be sad when I read Hoops of Steel, because you probably won’t be writing any more, do you know of any other book like this, because I would love to read them as well.

    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Sebastian
      Great to hear that you are enjoying the Ishmael series. You’re right I probably won’t
      write another one now that the characters have left school.
      Recently I read Melissa Keil’s book Life in Outer Space which was great, so maybe try that one. Another suggestion would be Barry Jonsberg’s The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull, and It’s Not All About You Calma.

  42. Kane says:

    Is there going to be a third book?

  43. mgbauer says:

    Hi Kane. Hoops of Steel is the third book after Don’t Call Me Ishmael and Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs,

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