Thirst, by Lizzie Wilcock

Karanda crawled off Solomon and stood up, dusting herself off. ‘Well, you can’t stay here,’ she said, crossing her arms.
‘It’s not your desert,’ Solomon said, sticking his chin out.
‘No, it’s not my desert,’ she said. ‘But this is my escape. I’m running away. I’m doing it on my own. I won’t make you go back to the road, but you can’t come with me. It will be hard enough taking care of  myself – I don’t want to have to look after a little kid, too.’

Since her mother abandoned her, Karanda has been through a strong of foster homes, and has quickly learnt to rely only on herself. So, when a car crash on the way to her sixth foster home sees her stranded in the desert, she takes the opportunity to run. She is going to escape and start a new life of her own. What she doesn’t count on is pesky eight-year old Solomon wanting to tag along. If only he wasn’t so nice to her all the time, she could leave him behind.

Thirst is a story of survival set in the harsh Australian desert, a setting which is echoed in the harshness of fourteen year old Karanda’s life to date. As Karanda and Solomon set out into the desert, hoping to avoid being found following the crash which has given them freedom, they must battle the elements one would expect to find in the Australian desert – heat, thirst, flood, lack of shelter, hunger and dangerous wildlife. They must also battle their own demons and, at times, each other.

Young readers with an interest in survival stories and adventures will enjoy the story and the bush tucker, and as the characters develop will come to want to see them become friends and, ultimately, find happiness.

Thirst, by Lizzie Wilcock
Scholastic Press, 2015
ISBN 9781742839660&

The Day the World Ended, by Lizzie Wilcock

The day the world ended began sunny and bright. There was no lightning, no thunder. No fiery comets soared across a darkening sky. No ravens screeched. No frenzied dogs barked, except for Winston, the dog next door. He always barked – morning, noon and night – which made the last day of the world seem exactly the same as any other day.

When they go for their favourite early morning swim on the 21st of September, Annie and Mac don’t think anything is different about the day. But a strange flash of light under the water alerts them that something – everything – is wrong. Out of the water they discover that they are the only ones from their home town alive. Soon it becomes apparent that the whole of humanity has been wiped out, except for them.

For a whole terrible day the twins try to unravel what has happened, how they will survive alone – and why it is them who remain alive. But when they wake up the next morning they discover they have gone back in time, till before the extinction took place. Now they have the opportunity to find other teens who also survived the extinction, and figure out a way to stop it ever happening. But there is someone who will do anything to stop them – someone who wants the human race obliterated.

The Day the World Ended is the first in an exciting new series for teens, based on the premise of a group of teens who are able both to survive an extinction and to travel through time. As they attempt to locate the other teens, Annie and Mac also try to unravel the mysteries of how they survive, what it is that will wipe out the human race and how they can stop it from happening.

The Day the World Ended is suitable for upper primary and lower secondary aged readers.

The Day the World Ended (Extinction)

The Day the World Ended (Extinction), by Lizzie Wilcock
Scholastic, 2011
ISBN 9781741696462

This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond< /a>. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

griEVE, by Lizzie Wilcock

I pick up the lavender-scented mauve paper. It is from the stationery set I bought for her last Christmas. The scent still lingers. I inhale deeply, breathing in hope and joy, and pleasure that she has finally used my gift.
Then I open it and the sweet smell of flowers turns sour. I feel sick. I want to vomit. The paper trembles in my hands. Is this a joke? My mother loves to joke, especially when she is the only one laughing.

When Eve’s mother disappears, Eve’s dad and aunt tell her there’s no point talking about it. It’s best if we don’t, her dad tells her. Not to anybody. People don’t need to know the details. So, though Eve longs to visit her mother, she doesn’t. Instead, she tries to carry on as normal, cleaning and cooking for her dad, and going to school. She makes a new friend, Summer, who shows her how to do things she would never have done before.

When her dad brings home his new girlfriend, Eve realises things are not going to return to normal. She finds ways of controlling the chaos around her and of controlling the mess her life has become. But will anything help?

griEVE is a powerful story about coping with loss. It deals with confronting topics such as self-harm, depression, and dysfunctional families in an absorbing storyline which will draw young readers in. Eve is honest with the reader, even while she is not being honest with herself, and the reader is able to recognise the truth behind many of the events which Eve refuses to understand.

This is the kind of novel which refuses to be put down, with the reader compelled to keep reading to find out what will happen to Eve, how she will find a way through the minefield of her life. Teenage girls especially will find it compelling.

griEVE, by Lizzie Wilcox
Scholastic Press, 2007