Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Sea Horse (Bruce Pascoe, Magabala)

Bruce Pascoe’s latest novel for children is an accomplished and exciting adventure story set on the Australian coast. Twelve-year-old Jack and younger sister Tanya escape with their parents, Carla and Vince, to remote and beautiful Seahorse Bay whenever they can. Carla spends her time fishing, Vince scuba dives for crayfish and Jack—and for the first time this year, Tanya—snorkels along the channel hunting for abalone. Then they all cook up their seafood on an open fire and enjoy the great outdoors. When Jack notices an abandoned boat glinting on the ocean floor one day, Vince takes them to the police station to report it straight away. But who is the strange man in black watching them and the ocean so intently? And what is the mystery surrounding the sunken boat? This is quality realist fiction with strongly realised Indigenous characters from a master storyteller. The writing is spare, with a love of landscape, in particular the ocean, shining from every page. Readers aged eight and up, particularly boys, will enjoy this adventure story, which would also be a suitable for older reluctant readers.

Angela Crocombe is the children’s book buyer at Readings Carlton


Category: Reviews