“Bloody tourists,” said a chirpy country voice behind him.
“Yeah, bloody tourists,” came a chorus of other voices. Their talk seemed to follow him all the way back to the kombivan, and his mind smarted at the thought of starting school in this town with those kids. Tough, knowledgeable, ridiculing, country kids….What’s it going to be like? he wondered, and spent the rest of the weekend thinking about Monday.
Trevor is new to town. Again. For almost as long as he can remember, he’s been moving between towns, living in a kombi and caravan wherever his mum and dad can find work. This time, though, he’s wondering if he’ll ever fit in. All the boys play football (rugby) and their teacher is the coach. Trevor decides that if he joins the team, maybe he’ll be accepted. The problem is, no one really wants him on the team – least of all the coach, who picks on him at raining just as much as he does in the classroom.
Cannily, Cannily is a story of friendship, family and belonging. Trevor is made different by his travelling lifestyle, but as he works to find a place in this new town, he wonders whether he wants to be the same as the boys on his team who want to win at all costs and are scared of their parents, their coach and, at times, each other. There’s a deeper issue – beyond his desire to fit in here is his need to belong somewhere, anywhere, with his dim recollections of living in a house near the beach a taunting memory.
Firs published in 1981, and newly re released by Walker Books, Cannily, Cannily is set in a time somewhat different that young readers’ experiences, yet will be familiar enough for them to relate, with the issues explored being thoroughly contemporary.
Suitable for readers aged 10 and up.
Cannily, Cannily, by Simon French
This edition Walker Books, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.