Far below, the crow saw a tiny speck move along a muddy track. It was a human girl-child. She tramped along, her head down, ignoring the country around her and the small town at her back. The girl did not see the paddocks, the railway line, the trees, the birds, the clouds. Her eyes were fixed on her own muddy shoes and the boggy road she walked on.
Sadie isn’t happy that her mother has brought her to live in Boort, a small country town where she doesn’t know anyone and where there’s nothing to do. She’s lonely at school, and at home she fights constantly with her mother about the change. But on a walk around the town Sadie discovers a a sacred site, and soon starts hearing the local crows talking to her, telling her she must tell the story of what happened here. With two local boys – Jamie the son of the wealthy land owner, and Walter, an Aboriginal boy sent to live in Boort to keep out of trouble – Sadie starts to uncover events that happened in the twon in the years following WW1. The crows tell her she must find a way to rght the wrongs of the past, to avoid history repeating itself.
Crow Country is an intense time slip tale, set chiefly in the modern day, with Sadie slipping back int ime several times and living events through the eyes of her great aunt Sadie at a similar age. Sadie is the unwitting witness to a killing and cover up, with three modern day friends all related to the three invovled in the murder – the victim, the killer and the man who helped cover it up. There are lots of issues explored here including racism, respect of indigenous culture and connection with the land, loyalty and honesty.
Suitable for readers in upper primary and teens, this is an absorbing read.
Crow Country, by Kate Constable
Allen & Unwin, 2011
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