Walkabout by James Vance Marshall


is a story of diversity, three children’s experience of life through great diversity – culturally, environmentally, racially and rite of passage, death is also addressed.

The arid desolate, barren land of Australia’s Northern Territory is vividly described explaining the difficult surrounding Mary and Peter contended with, while bush boy was one with nature, again contrasts tying the story together.

“Sturt Plain, where the aircraft had crashed, is in the centre of the Northern Territory. It is roughly the size of England and Wales combined; but instead of some 45,000,000 inhabitants, it has roughly 4,500, and instead of some 200,000 roads, it has two, of which one is a fair-weather stock route. Most of the inhabitants are grouped around three or four small towns  Tennant Creek, Hooker Creek, and Daly Waters which means that the rest of the area is virtually uninhabited. The Plain is fourteen hundred miles from Adelaide and is not a good place to be lost in.”

Two separate worlds and three children vastly differing, teaching, learning from each other. Leaning on each other in the name of humanity and its greatest sacrifice.

A subtle story with a powerful message, sad and warming.

Published July 30th 1998 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1959)
Pages 128
ISBN13: 9780140312928

Recommendation: 3/5


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