By: Allan Baillie
Published by: Penguin Australia
Published: March 2014
ISBN: 9780143307679


30,000 years ago, before the pyramids are built, before the Ice Age comes and goes, and before Neanderthals become extinct, the Yam tribe live in peace on Bird Island. But the Crocodile tribe have other ideas . . .

The ferocious Crocodile warriors have already killed Bent Beak's pa, and now they seem determined to take out his whole tribe. The only way to survive is to flee the island. But where will they go? 

As the Yam tribe brave the perils of the sea, will they survive the voyage into the unknown, and what awaits them just over the horizon?

An enthralling story about the plight of the very first boat people, of their desperation, bravery and hope.


This book provides an interesting and insightful look into the possible reasons and some of the turmoils that may have faced the first arrivals in Australia.

The story follows a treacherous journey across water some 30,000 years ago that ultimately sees the Timorese travellers land in the north of Western Australia.

Whilst this is a purely fictional account, the story and its characters give the reader a human insight into our unique past and give us a better understanding of what may have taken place in the earliest human existence in Australia.

An intriguing story that will best suit lower secondary students.

This book was included in our March 2014 Secondary Standing Order selection.

Reviewed by Rob