Swerve, by Phillip Gwynne

The Monaro was a spaceship hurtling through the intergalactic, a submarine slicing through Atlantic depths. Inside, the milky light from the dashboard; outside, headlights punching holes in the outback night.

Hugh Twycross is a 16 year old nerd with a bright future – everybody says so. One of Australia’s best young cellists, he is preparing for an audition at the prestigious conservatorium. But Hugh is harbouring a secret. Beneath his neat uniform, his nerdy hair, and his passion for music lies another passion – for cars and motor racing. So when his newly-discovered grandfather, Poppy, asks him to come on a road trip to Uluru in his 1970 Monaro, Hugh can’t refuse. Soon Hugh and Poppy are hurtling across the country, getting into all sorts of tangles, and having the time of their lives.

Along the way, Hugh and Poppy make some new friends – and tangle with new enemies. But Poppy is hiding his own secret, a secret which will rock Hugh’s world.

Swerve is a fast moving, funny but also touching story of self-discovery, family, and friendship . As Hugh travels with the grandfather who has been estranged from the family for many years, the pair build a bond which seems initially unbreakable, but which is tested by both revelations and the events of the trip. The use of an opening chapter which flashes forward gives the reader an insight into a possible outcome, but doesn’t blow the ending.

Young car-lovers will love the road trip, but there is something for every teen, with issues, humour, adventure and even mystery.



Swerve, by Phillip Gywnne
Penguin, 2009

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