Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Paruku: The Desert Brumby

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

Paruku: The Desert Brumby

Article excerpt

Title: Paruku: The desert brumby

Author: Jesse Blackadder

Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers Australia, 2014

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This novel, as the title suggests, explores the iconic Australian brumby, Australia's wild horse. The story is based on true events relating to the Kimberley brumbies, Arabian and thoroughbred horses, that were released into the East Kimberley region in the 1950 to 1960s to improve the bloodlines of the stockhorses of the Lake Gregory Pastoral Station (now the Paruku Indigenous Protected Area).

The story follows 12 year old Rachel, who dreams of being an equine vet like her father Mike, and their journey to Kimberley to capture the wild brumbies for a prominent Sheik in Dubai who sees their potential as endurance horses. This story would suit lower secondary students and would be recommended to any 'horse mad' girl or boy, as the story's main characters are the brumbies themselves, with parts of the book uniquely written from one horse's perspective.

The story has a strong focus on a connection to land. Rachel threatens the capture of the brumbies more than once as she feels they belong free; however, her views change when she begins working with Eddie and the other Indigenous rangers who, whilst assisting with the capture, explain that the horses are not native to the land and cause degradation and destruction to their country. …

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