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'While we all have the readers who relish the humour, the fantasy and the historical fiction, we equally have those kiddos who want the contemporary realistic fiction which demands thoughtful reflection, inspires resilience and develops a sense of empathy.

All of the Through My Eyes series have been extremely popular with such readers in my libraries and this latest, which focuses on the disasters of our own country proves again that this is a genre that speaks to our young people.

With the first two focused on bushfire and cyclone, this newest examines the impact of drought, in particular, the devastating widespread drought in South Australia between 2017-2022.

Young teen, Alex, lives on a Flinders Ranges property with his parents, his beloved Kelpie and horse, and not many sheep, as drought and fire have decimated their flock. It’s not only the sheep that have been lost. Alex’ dad is suffering from deep depression, his mum is working in town as well as trying to keep things up on the farm, and his sister has gone to live with their grandparents in Adelaide. The neighbours on the adjoining property have already left, after their bore ran dry. and their small town is suffering other setbacks as the ramifications of the drought continue. Alex cannot bear to think of leaving Spring Park, no matter how dire their situation is becoming.

As well as picking up the deficit created by his father’s illness, Alex is determined to find a way to help or, at least, alleviate the relentless devastation caused by the endless drought. When new neighbours Bonnie, Sully and Pop move onto the Gibsons’ old place along with their herd of camels, Alex finds not only a new friend and staunch like-minded ally, but a completely different point of view on many topics. Marauding feral dogs intent on killing more of their sheep, nastiness at school, a missing classmate, and Bonnie’s strange attitude about her dead mother cannot stop this determined pair from their mission to make a difference to the environment, and the issue Australia has with water.

In the process, they manage to rally an entire community, and focus nation-wide attention on their actions, as well as helping others closer to home to begin to heal from trauma.

Readers will gain so much from this narrative with a number of important themes running throughout: impact of trauma, climate change and environmental action, family dynamics, grief, mental illness, resilience, empathy, innovation and collaboration. Highly recommended for readers from around middle primary to lower secondary.'
Sue Warren, Just So Stories