In a dangerous world where predators roam both land and sea, an orphaned young boatman, Dane, wanders alone. Faced with the terrors of the water and the ever-present threat of a warrior group called the Clan, he struggles to survive. Along with his precious kayak, Dane has one other treasure: a much-loved book given to him by his mother, which is a source of comfort in the hardest of times.
When he encounters Garth, a book-loving old boat builder, and his amazing granddaughter Lana, everything changes, as he and Lana are pitched into a perilous quest that challenges all they hold dear.
The first middle-grade novel in many years, by one of Australia's greatest storytellers, Wanderer is an exciting adventure set in a brilliantly-imagined world. It is also a lyrical love song to the power of books and stories.
Dane is an orphan whose only possessions are his kayak, a few weapons and a book given to him by his Mum. Dane’s world is dangerous, with violent predators on both land and sea, including a warrior group called the Clan who love nothing more than to destroy villages and homes and any books they can find.
When Dane’s kayak is damaged, he goes looking for Garth, an old boat builder. When he finds him, he also meets Garth’s amazing blind granddaughter, Lana.
Garth is very old and when he dies, he makes Dane and Lana promise to take his precious books to the only library left. So begins a wonderful adventure as we follow Dane and Lana on their journey through a dangerous world.
Victor Kelleher has lost none of his touch in this fast-paced adventure in a world far removed from what we take for granted. They must survive by their wits and the skills learned through hard work.
It’s a beautiful story of friendship, and explores the trust that is required between them for Dane and Lana to survive against all odds.
Wanderer is also a homage to the power of books and stories, in the hope that if they keep the books safe they can help rebuild their world.
This is sure to be loved by all those in upper primary and lower secondary.
Reviewed by Michelle