Thirst by Lizzie Wilcock was on the shortlist in the Wilderness Society’s Environment award for children’s literature.
I loved reading this book from start to finish. Perhaps I am a little biased as I do love the Australian outback and the flippant nature of it. I love the sense of freedom and would love to learn more about bush foods and bush survival. The two main characters in this story had their troubles but were so strong in their ability to survive under dire circumstances.
This is a great book for older readers and I think all students will love it. Thirst follows two young children on a journey through the Australian desert. The imagery in the story is amazing and you can really feel that you are a part of the outback.
Kuranda and Solomon come across many difficulties both physical and mental as they search for freedom and somewhere to call home. There are lots of layers in this story but they’re not complex to unravel. I loved that it showed the kids’ deepening love for the outback environment while never trivialising the harshness of it. It might even inspire your family to take a trip into the desert to learn about the wonders that abound in it.
Follow up activities
- Grab a map of Australia and work out where Kuranda and Solomon may have been.
- Explore the six seasons of Kakadu.
- What is bush food – could you survive in the desert for days or weeks?
- Explore foster care – discuss the pros and cons of the system that is currently in place. Look at the emotional effects foster care can have on children – both positive and negative.
- Plan a family camping trip. Work out what you would need to take for at least 3 days of camping where there are little amenities.