WALKABOUT by James Vance Marshall


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A short account of two children's castaway experience, in a desolate part of Australia's Northern Territory known as Sturt Plain, appeared originally in England in 1959 and was republished as a ""minor classic"" in 1960 with illustrations which will again be used here, black and white linecuts by an Australian artist. Plaintive and touching in the story it tells, it is also extremely effective visually, for while the children are at first stranded in a barren area of sand and scrub, they are surrounded by strange birds and small beasts of all kinds. The survivors of a plane crash, Mary, 13, and Peter, 8, are helpless until they meet a bushboy, a naked aboriginal who teaches them to find food and water, make a fire, escape Death which is his only enemy. But it is in Mary's eyes (her instinctive recoil) that he sees terror and doom. Wasting away, he wills himself to death while having taught the children more than survival... Mr. Marshall's writing is equal to the brilliance and the silence of the windless desert and his small book does not deserve to be overlooked; it is timeless and ageless in its appeal.

Publisher: Doubleday