Monday 10 October 2022

Nice Garry #1: Bowled Over

Nice Garry #1: Bowled Over by Nathan Lyon and Michael Wagner, illustrated by David Williams (Harper Collins) BPB RRP $14.99 ISBN: 97814607613442

Nice Garry #2: In a Spin by Nathan Lyon and Michael Wagner, illustrated by David Williams (Harper Collins) BPB RRP $14.99 ISBN: 9781460761359

Reviewed by Kellie Nissen

We all have our own special talents – even if we haven’t found them yet. Ten-year-old Garry Keenan loves cricket. He plays in the backyard with his older brother, Jamie, and is a great commentator to boot. What he doesn’t realise – until he tags along to his brother’s tryout for a spot in the Under 16 Youngstown Yabbies team – is that he has an extraordinary talent as a spin bowler.

What’s more, after the tryouts, it’s Garry, not Jamie, who is offered the spot on the team. All he was doing was bowling a few balls while he waited for his brother. And he’s only ten!

With the support of his coach and teammates, Garry manages to quell his nerves and rise to the occasion. However, a ten-year-old playing in an Under 16s side is not without its problems, including the jealousy of his brother.

The first book in the Nice Garry series, Bowled Over, follows Garry as he trains with the team and plays his first competitive game.

Book 2, In a Spin, picks up where Bowled Over left off. The brothers are mates again and working harder than ever to see Garry overcome several obstacles that are put in his way, not the least of which being when Garry innocently manages to get on the wrong side of the captain of opposing team, Falcon’s Nest.

Inspired by Nathan Lyon’s Australian Test cricketing career and memories, author, Michael Wagner has worked with Lyon to create relatable characters and a strong storyline that will keep younger readers engaged and cheering for Garry throughout.

The illustrations by David Williams add to the story and give life to the characters and their emotions.

If you love cricket, you’ll love Nice Garry. Even if you’re not into cricket, you’ll soon be cheering Garry on and, perhaps, even a little inspired by his passion and resilience.

The Nice Garry books are ideal for independent readers aged 7+ but will also appeal to younger children who are ready for shared reading experiences with their parents or teacher.

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