Walkabout

by James Vance Marshall

Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
ISBN:
0140312927
ISBN13:
9780140312928
BINDING:
Paperback
PUBLISHER:
Puffin
PUBLISHED:
1998-07-30
PAGES:
128

A plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia,
and the only survivors are two children from Charleston, South Carolina, on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide. Mary and her younger brother Peter set out on foot, lost in the vast, hot Australian outback. They are saved by a chance meeting with an Aboriginal boy on walkabout, who teaches them to find food and water in the wilderness, but whom Mary can’t bring herself to trust. 

Though on the surface Walkabout is an adventure story, darker themes lie just beneath. Peter’s innocent friendship with the Aboriginal throws into relief Mary’s no longer childish anxiety, and together raise questions about how Aboriginal and Western culture can meet. And in the vivid descriptions of the natural world, we realize that this story—a deep fairy tale in the spirit of Adalbert Stifter’s Rock Crystal—must also be a story about the closeness of death and the power of nature.

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