Paruku The Desert Brumby by Jesse Blackadder (HarperCollins)
PB RRP $14.99
Reviewed by Hazel Edwards
Jesse Blackadder's books have well researched settings, whether Antarctica or historical Scotland. Her audience has now extended to younger readers with the animal series which started with 'STAY, the Last Dog in Antarctica'.These are 'faction', involving stories, dramatised around fact. The realistic detail of seeking the outback brumbies to fulfil the Sheik's contract, from a young girl's perspective, especially when accompanied by her vet father, is credible in 'Paruka:The Desert Brumby'
Family relationships are well drawn but it's the horse details which will make 'Paruka The Desert Brumby' the kind of novel, 10-15 year old horse-mad girls will recommend to each other. And even the ones who are not horse-mad. Authentic outback detail and a subtle way of opening up some broader issues of ownership of natural resources.
The inserts written from the viewpoint of the brumbies are beautifully written. Poetic and sustained.
Hazel Edwards OAM is a National Reading Ambassador.