What to Read After… Look Up! 20/09/21
Cyborg Cat: Rise of the Parsons Road Gang
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Set in the 1980s, this is the story of a young boy learning to adjust to living in London, following the family’s move from Lagos.
His parents are keen to embrace their new life in a very different country, while retaining their own culture and principles. Ade is less sure that they can fit in, especially after encounters with some unpleasant attitudes towards his colour and disability (he wears a caliper on his leg as a result of contracting polio when he was very young).
However, where friendship is concerned, sport proves to be a great leveller. And before long, he is a member of the Parson’s Road Gang with his own nickname, the Cyborg Cat.
This first book by Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan offers a fascinating picture of his childhood. With a light touch and plenty of wit, he recalls the influences and events that helped to shape his life and career. We encounter the delightful (and often embarrassing) family, the faithful friends with whom he plays on the streets of East London, as well as the prejudice and the challenges.
Entertaining and accessible, this is a book that is sure to achieve its goal of inspiring young people to channel their determination and pursue their own goals. The historical perspective may also encourage the reader to consider how far disability sport and attitudes to disability have come – as well as how far we still have to go.