Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Boomerang and Bat

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Boomerang and Bat

Article excerpt

Title: Boomerang and bat: The story of the real first eleven

Author/illustrator: Mark Greenwood (author) and Terry Denton (illustrator)

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2016


Boomerang and bat, written by Mark Greenwood and illustrated by Terry Denton, is the real life story of a team of Aboriginal cricketers who travelled to England in 1868. The book's front inside cover shows a world map, highlighting the team's journey via Cape Horn and Africa to England, while the inside back cover identifies the individual members of the team in labelled drawings.

The text recounts the story of Unaarrimin--also known as Johnny Mullagh--and other shearers and station hands. Their natural ability for sport caught the eye of an English cricketer called Charles Lawrence, who thought that he might be able to make money from such a talented group. Although he trained them in the finer points of cricket, he was denied permission to take the team overseas. Through a covert operation, the team travelled overland then over the sea, finally making it to England.

During its tour of England, the team demonstrated sporting skills that went beyond those usually expected of cricketers. After 47 matches, the death of one of the team and some unpleasant situations, such as not being served in a luncheon tent, the cricketers travelled back to Australia. …

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