An English boy in New York by T.S Easton
Hot Key Books 2014. ISBN 9781471401497.
(Age: 13+) While this is the sequel to Boys don't knit there are sufficient explanatory references dotted throughout the story to keep the new reader up to speed.
Having won Knit Fair UK Simon has been invited to New York to attend Knit Fair USA. Hence begins a lightweight romp through the Big Apple with the knitter himself, his parents, and mad mate 'innit' Gez who catches up with his American 'gangster' cousin Keith.
Throughout the visit Simon is constantly teetering on the precipice of some form of trouble. Starting with losing his suitcase then being chased by 'the homeless guy', accidentally stabbing someone with a crochet hook and rescuing his mate from a sleazy neighbourhood.
After having rashly announced in a radio interview that he is a faster knitter than a machine the focus for the plot turns into 'man (or in this case boy) versus machine', the match up for which becomes the climax of the story.
The story is sprinkled with lively characters. Much to Simon's embarrassment his risque parents constantly converse in double entendres and don't mind the odd game of rude scrabble. Gez is a constant source of concern with his propensity for seeking, and finding, trouble. While Simon is concerned about the fidelity of his girlfriend, Megan, still home in England he is not immune to the attractiveness of Brandi, his agent, with the the gleaming white teeth or even the attentive Melanee, head of a rival knitting association.
Throughout the story Easton makes references to the iconic features of this famous city: hot dogs, baseball, the flat iron building, the subway, Madison Square Garden and of course every tourist's concern - how much to tip? At a different level he explores the question of big business versus cottage industry.
In the end, Simon realises there is 'no place like home' but the reader suspects he will miss his philly cheese steaks.
A humorous, light-hearted story with appeal to those who can suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.