The Secret Place
author: Madeleine Simmons
Andrew is leaving behind his childhood on the big and dusty outback property in western NSW, as he and his family move inland to a more settled hills area of the Warrumbungle Mountains. There is the strange and lonely man next door – a recluse around whom much gossip grows; there are everyday farm chores and school work to be done, and a steady trickle of visitors coming to spend time with the family. The biggest misadventure of all is wrought by nature itself as Andrew becomes lost in the rugged back country, amid a destructive bush fire. A charming children’s novel about a boy on the cusp of growing up, leaving his isolated childhood behind him, and finding his place in the wider community.