Gramps disappeared into his room. He returned a few minutes later with a gumleaf attached to a long leather string.
‘Here, put this around your neck,’ he said.
‘Why would I want to do that, Gramps?’ asked Alex.
‘It’s so you’ll always have a piece of the bush with you.’
Reluctantly, Alex put the gumleaf over his head and tucked it under his T-shirt where no one could see it.
Alex’s grandfather is really embarrassing. He’s always protesting and campaigning to save things like whales and trees. Other grandparents do things like help with homework or buy them sweets, but Gramps is too busy thinking up new ways to embarrass Alex – at least that’s how it feels. So when Alex has to go and stay with Gramps for a few days, he isn’t impressed. What will Gramps get up to this time? But Alex is about to be surprised. Strange events lead him to a greater understanding of why Gramps does what he does.
The Other Side is a child’s view of activism and how fighting for environmental issues can make a difference. It also explores the history of Western Australia’s Rabbit Proof Fence from a unique perspective – when Alex unexpectedly finds himself inside the body of a joey for part of the story.
Part of the Making Tracks series of historical fiction for primary aged readers.
The Other Side, by Sally Morgan, illustrated by Teresa Culkin-Lawrence
National Museum of Australia Press, 2007