Cricket Crazy by Vivienne Bailey
There is something quintessential about summer and cricket in New Zealand, and that’s what Vivienne Bailey has captured in this fun and fast paced young adult fiction novel.
Our main character, Tom, has a solo dad, a beloved dog (Archie), a couple of best mates in Fletcher and Izzy and an overwhelming love of cricket. Oh, and there’s a new woman in his dad’s life that seems like she might be sticking around. Sometimes it seems like all he can do to keep his mind on the super speedy bowling from that Menace Mitchell in the opposing intermediate team!
Sport is in the blood for kiwis and it’s great to see a novel that celebrates and promotes our National summer pastime. Such novels are too few and far between.
This novel should be added to every school and home library, pretty much compulsory reading in upper primary to harness the strength of will of Tom, the reconciliation between Tom and his Dad, and the resilience to face some pretty tricky incidents along the way! Sometimes it feels as if poor Tom just can’t catch a break when it comes to dealing with everything.
As a young adult fiction piece the novel reads exceptionally well. The writing is on point and pitches the language and the dialogue perfectly. Some of the nuances of the game may put some people off, the matches are very well explained and if you do get stuck with the cricketing jargon, there is a wonderful glossary at the back of the book.
Overall the story moves along pretty swiftly and will easily keep the attention of a younger audience. Parts of it I read out to my children who loved it! They were right there with Tom and the team in the lead up to the big match. A highly recommended read for families and cricket lovers alike.
Reviewer: Chris Reed
The Cuba Press