A sweet book about an unlikely softball team, Sana Sharma
September 02, 2021
Slice of Heaven by Des O’ Leary is a wonderful book about softball and a bunch of young people surprised by sport.
The story begins after school in detention at Mamawahe High School where Mr Orchard is trying to take the roll because there are over 20 students for that one detention. The junior softball team has not shown up and there is a team coming to play against them at that very moment so some of the rubbish-picking students from detention have to play.
There are a lot of different people in this story, as there are a lot of players on a softball team. There is Sione, who at first looks like the target for the school bully Jordan. There’s also Charity, Tesha and Alice who love to make fun of the boys. Next, we have Sione’s best friend TJ who lives close by and is really funny – he gets into trouble quickly – and his sister Leilani who is in charge of the gear as it is a boy’s softball team. I have to say she has a blast watching her brother struggle to play. We also have Deepak who doesn’t like to play, and Raj who finds it alright. Nigel and Oko who get mad at the others and Junior who is actually a senior. Redemption is a guy who is used to being alone and lastly, we have Hieu who isn’t in the team at the moment but may be thinking of joining. They have two coaches for their team: Miss Moala and Mr Green.
One of the massive challenges for this team is that pretty much none of them have ever played softball and are not at all interested to learn… not at first, but they are in the team now so they better learn how to score some points.
A couple more problems encountered by the team: Sione has to do too much work and he tells TJ’s family that Leilani is pretty. Raj has a fight with his parents about sport and ends up getting too much money. There are also so many gangs around in the park.
I enjoy how Slice Of Heaven is written in a clear and descriptive way. The storyline is really interesting and well thought out. Des O’ Leary focuses on one specific thing – softball – and describes it from the perspective of every character: so much so that I thought I was really there, listening to their conversations.
If his aim was to create a sweet and fun book it was achieved. He wrote the book in a very descriptive way about his favourite sport and I thought it was really creative. I got to see so many different people with different ideas, takes and preferences and friendships.
Finally, I’d like to recommend this book to teen readers, whether you are interested in softball or not, and if you’re trying to live sweet lives in a slice of heaven.
- Sana Sharma is 12 and lives in Hamilton.