were to use the vernacular, I’d say it’s been a long time between drinks
Victor, but it was certainly worth it.
Multi-award winner, Victor Kelleher, has
crafted his first middle grade novel in fifteen years with this gripping and
absorbing post-apocalyptic narrative. If you think Waterworld
for kids, you might get a little sense of the setting.
Dane, spends most of his life since the devastation of his village, on his
kayak. The world has shrunk to few habitable places and even those are not safe
from the ravaging horde who call themselves The Clan.
warriors (more ruthless vigilantes) are determined to remove every last trace
of the mythical ‘Golden Years’ a long-ago time when such things as books,
knowledge and learning were held in high esteem.
narrowly escapes an encounter with these dangerous killers and, guarding his
sole treasure – a book given to him by his now-murdered mother – needs urgent
repairs to his kayak, if he is to remain as safe as is possible.
The rumour of
an old man who can fix such craft leads him to Garth, and his granddaughter,
Lana – a remarkable young girl with extraordinary gifts. Garth is not just a
capable craftsman, he is a guardian of the old knowledge and a hoard of books.
Knowing that time is limited as The Clan draw ever closer to discovering their
hidden location, Garth entrusts the two young people to take the books to the
last possible stronghold for such valuable treasures. But their journey is
fraught with danger as The Clan pursues them for reasons that are revealed as
well as their encounters with other survivors, all of them distrustful of
strangers and focused on their own needs, and extremely unpredictable.
novel explores themes of courage and tenacity, resilience and ingenuity,
loyalty and friendship, survival and hope. And it is a celebration and
testament to the power of story and books, and the wealth and comfort these
provide to us mere mortals.
highly recommend it for able readers from around Year 6 upwards – though be
mindful that there is descriptive episodes of violence throughout.
Author: Victor Kelleher
Illustrator: Cover and internal illustrations by Lorena Carrington
Publisher: Eagle Books Imprint: Christmas Press, $19.99
Publication Date: August 2022
For ages: 12+