Ben doesn’t even know that his family owns Gwendolan House, an empty building on River Terrace. But his father, conservative politician Rob Fielding, is making a documentary about his family’s story, and wants to use the old family home as a backdrop. Ben starts to uncover the old stories of the house and of his family.
At the same time he develops an unlikely friendship with Jess, a street kid who is squatting in the house next door to Gwendolan House. Ben’s father wants the squatters out and frowns on the growing friendship, but Ben decides some things are more important than following his father’s rules.
The House on River Terrace is realistic fiction set in Brisbane, and deals with contemporary issues such as the plight of street kids, as well as more timeless issues such as family loyalty and father/son relationships. Ben Fielding is a boy nearing manhood who must learn to stand up for his beliefs and make his own decisions, as well as to be aware of the impact of his actions.
First published in 1995 and subsequently shortlisted for the Children’s Book of the Year Awards, it has been re-released by UQP, and remains both topical and an absorbing read.
The House on River Terrace, by James Moloney
UQP, first published 1995, this edition 2007
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