Published: May, 2015
Reviewed by Debbie Berger
Karanda Hooke is a young, angry girl on her way to her sixth foster home in the Northern Territory when a fatal car accident occurs. This situation creates an opportunity to escape her terrible life of being rejected by every foster home she has ever been placed in. Solomon, the other foster child in the car, decides he will tag along whilst Karanda is running away from the world, into the harsh Australian desert with nothing but a backpack and a bottle of water. The story is slow in unfolding and it takes some time to reveal the tragic background that both Karanda and Solomon have experienced. Thirst gives the reader a vivid description of survival in the desert and the challenges of finding food, water and shelter while not knowing where on earth you are. Solomon, who is only 8 years old, has an incredible, almost unbelievable, knowledge of the bush and is able to help them both survive what seem to be insurmountable situations.
As the ending of the story looms it is hard to guess how it will all end and what will happen to both of these young children who have managed to survive flood, fire, dingo attacks, no food, no water and everything else in between. A good story for primary school and younger middle school readers. Readers who can suspend reality and not question the plausibility of the storyline will also find this outback adventure a quick and easy read.
Themes include: child welfare system, survival, loss and death.
Teacher notes are available on the Scholastic Australia website or by clicking this link: resource.scholastic.com.au/resourceFiles/8361441_31373.pdf