The Kaboom Kid series:   David Warner with J. S. Black/ Jules Faber

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kaboom-kid-1-the-big-switch-9781925030785_lg

Big Switch: Kaboom Kid #1

  • Simon & Schuster Australia |
  • 176 pages |
  • ISBN 9781925030785 |
  • December 2014

List Price

AU$ 14.99

NZ$ 16.99

kaboom-kid-2-playing-up-9781925030808_lg

Playing Up: Kaboom Kid #2

  • Simon & Schuster Australia |
  • 176 pages |
  • ISBN 9781925030808 |
  • December 2014

List Price

AU$ 14.99

NZ$ 16.99

To capitalise on the summer silly season of cricket, when the kids return to school is another new series based around Australia’s (arguably) favourite game.

One of the top current and highly respected batsmen and fielders, David Warner, has collaborated on this new series for up and coming cricket wannabes.  These are very accessible books for your reluctant boy readers who do not want a challenging vocabulary or plot.

Young Davey Warner is pretty much obsessed with his cricket as are his best friends. These are essentially school stories with the cricket slant thrown in.   There are some dubious incidents throughout. I totally get that often in schools, things happen that may not be entirely considered ‘kosher’ by either students or teachers but felt there could have more focus on positives from both sides.

I am a little concerned about the very stereotyped characters and particularly at one point, the almost rabid teacher who in the second book confiscates Davey’s bat. It is eventually retrieved for his ultimate victory in the Under 14s match but by means which can only be construed as blackmail.

I am also disturbed that unlike another recent cricket focused series for younger readers, there are NO female protagonists. We all know we have a strong national female representation in this sport and yet, that aspect is completely ignored in these books. Perhaps forthcoming volumes will introduce some competition from the girls!

I am happy that Davey’s friends comprise boys from other cultures (who, of course are bullied by the school football fanatic!) but am concerned that they also are so stereotyped. Sunil, the earnest young Indian boy next door, is very keen on his chemistry set and totally responsible for unpleasing classroom incidents. Or then there’s George, who has dolmades in his lunch, and bullied for having ‘foreign food’.

I can see that many little boys around 9/10 or so who are die-hard David Warner fans would pick this series up and no doubt love it with its very broad and boyish humour, but my recommendation is reserved.

There is of course, great scope to discuss characters and situations and invite commentary on some of the aspects, in which I was disappointed, with readers.  There is also a terrific opportunity to speculate on whether young Davey Warner and his experiences are actually based on any factual background of David Warner and on the intentions of the ghost writers.

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