Book Reviews – Being Black ‘n Chicken, & Chips

Being Black ‘N Chicken, & Chips
by Matt Okine

In this novel set in Australia in the late 1980s, we follow Mike Amon.  His parents are divorced and he has a lot to deal with – his first crush, school bullies and becoming a star athlete. But underneath all of this he is struggling with the fact that his mother is sick in hospital and trying to relate to his African father, whom he might have to live with indefinitely. If only Zoe would like him back. If only he could win that race. If only his dad would stop cooking chicken nibbles every night. This book is not for younger readers, as there is swearing and Mike’s inquisitive pubescent obsessions throughout the book. Matt Okine captures each character with a different voice brilliantly. Based on Okine’s loss of his own mother at 12, this coming-of-age book is at times sad, but mostly a good deal of fun.