Boomerang and Bat by Mark Greenwood
Published by Allen and Unwin
Johnny watches the settlers play a curious game called cricket. The boss at Mullagh Station invited Johnny to join in with them. Johnny hit the ball so hard it split the red gum bat.
When Johnny was not shearing at the station, he would go hunting with other station hands on the shores of Lake Wallace.
One day Johnny invited the others to play cricket with him. They turned out to be natural sportsmen.
As their reputation grew, they were invited to play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where they thrilled the crowds. Charles Lawrence, an English cricketer, happened to notice them and decided to coach the team and pitch them against the best cricketers in the world.
Unfortunately, the Board for the Protection of Aborigines objected that the lives of the aborigines should not be put in danger.
After some months of practice, a secret voyage was planned and executed. The team left Edenhope and travelled to Queenscliff where they boarded a ship and sailed to England. Three months later, when they were all sick of the sea voyage, the cricketers finally arrived.
With forty-seven matches completed, the weary cricketers boarded a ship and returned to Australia. Unfortunately one the players, King Cole, died while they were still in England. There was no triumphant return for the players so they quietly returned to their stations.
This is a hard covered book about the first eleven aboriginal cricket team. It is exploding with lively, colourful illustrations that will delight all young readers. The interesting inclusion of a map on the front inside cover and a photographical list and description of each player is included inside the back cover.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Mark Greenwood
Illustrator: Terry Denton
Title: Boomerang and Bat
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Published: April 2016