Review Blog

Mar 16 2011

The best ballgirl by Pat Flynn

cover image

Aussie Chomps. Penguin, 2011. ISBN 9780143505743.
Delving into the politics behind the scenes at a tennis championship makes riveting reading in Pat FLynn's experienced hands. With credible characters and a strong, believable setting, the story of the in infighting and bullying at the local tennis club makes for an absorbing tale.
Kirsten and her friends are part of the district tennis scene, all being coached by a local coach and with dreams of making it onto the tennis circuit. The club supervisor, the imperious Mrs Starling, also has dreams, not for herself, but her daughter Sally. With private coaching and a pushy mother, Sally seems to have it all, but Kirsten is doubly cross with her when she begins to take the attention of the one boy Kirsten likes, TJ.
In announcing that a major tennis championship will occur at the club and therefore needing ball girls and boys, the group trains with vigour, hoping to be picked for the jobs available. Kirsten would dearly love to be on court when her hero, Maggie Stephenson plays the final, but Mrs Starling does not chose her. Things conspire to make this happen.
A neatly told story of allegiances and friendships, the story incorporates an ugly parent and the sports scene at a tennis club. It will have a broad appeal to those who love reading about involvement in sports, the relationships between friends and for fans of the series, Aussie Chomps. It is well written with a believable and involving story line which will make readers look at the ball girls and ball boys with a different eye next time they watch tennis.
Fran Knight

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