Mr Bronsen said cricket was a game you had to live and breathe. At first, I didn’t get that. But I was beginning to understand. It meant having a cricket ball in your hands – all the time. It meant reading about the Australian cricket team – past and present. It meant listening to the experts and watching the game whenever you get the chance. And, of course, it meant playing. It also meant lying in bed at night dreaming of walking out to play for your country.
‘Hey, kid, can you bat?’
Mitchell is back in a new title in The Legend Series. This time the sport is cricket and there’s a buzz about the school as the students speculate if Mitchell has a chance of beating Travis Fisk, last year’s winner of the Cricket Legend title. After winning the Surfing Legend title, Mitchell is keen to compete in the cricket competition. Mitchell is still the ‘new kid’ but he’s making friends quickly and there are plenty of others who’d be happy to see bad boy Travis eat crow. Cricket is also new friend, Bubba’s favourite game, although his parents would prefer he never played again. By fair means or foul, this is going to be a hot competition.
The Legend Series is back, reworked, rejacketed and with a new publisher, ready for a new generation of readers. Each is designed to appeal to keen sports people, particularly those who might find sitting down for extended periods challenging. Short chapters, thrills and spills, statistics and scorecards all keep the pages turning. Mitchell tells his story and although the boys’ competition gains most of the airtime, there is a parallel girls’s cricket competition and Mitchell is full of admiration for several of the girls, and perhaps one in particular. Recommended for sports fans and reluctant readers.
The Legend Series 2: Against the Spin, Michael Panckridge
Ford Street Publishing 2016
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller