Cairo Kelly and the Mann


172 pages
ISBN 1-55143-211-0
DDC jC813'.54




Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Carol-Ann Hoyte is a children’s bookseller in Montreal.


Thirteen-year-old Kelly Romani is known for two things: his pitching
prowess on the baseball field and his off-field antics, which generally
land him and his friend Midge in hot water. Kelly’s attitude changes
when Hal Mann (“the Mann”), the league’s favorite umpire, is
barred from officiating when he refuses to take the new mandatory umpire
exam. With Midge’s support, Kelly stages a protest—a tactic that
threatens to cancel the playoffs and ruin Kelly’s chance to play for a
scout. The guys eventually learn why Mann won’t write the test; they
talk him into changing his mind when he realizes what else is at risk.

This book conveys two positive messages: teenagers can effect change
and some causes are worth fighting for. Butcher’s background as a
teacher is no doubt related to her ability to create credible adolescent
characters. Baseball lovers will appreciate her detailed knowledge of
the sport. Cairo Kelly and the Mann will appeal to sports fans,
including those who are reluctant readers. Recommended.


Butcher, Kristin., “Cairo Kelly and the Mann,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,