Crow Country


Sadie is not resistant to Boort, the country town where she and her mother, Ellie have moved. It holds history for Ellie, of times when she stayed with her grandparents. Yet Ellie is determined that the pair will settle in quickly, reconnect with her teenage past, and thereafter make the place a  home. Yet as Sadie explores, she’s aware of a crow that follows her. When she visits an old lake about which her mother has told her, she finds curious grave stones amongst an area long neglected. It seems to be on the land of the Mortlocks, who’ve a longstanding history in Boort.

Yet what is the crow trying to tell her? It seems to connect with something of Sadie’s history, and then that of Walter, nephew to David, to whom Ellie is attracted. As the attraction of the site grows stronger, Sadie returns to a Sadie of long ago, an ancestor who lived at a time after WW1, when a different Mortlock sought to overwhelm Aboriginal land disrespectfully. How might a disagreement between three war veterans and former colleagues end up, when one no longer holds the respect of his ‘whitefella’ comrades? Thereafter, how might Sadie and Walter, and Lachie, a present day Mortlock, seek to make amends?

Crow Country is a really stirring, thought- provoking novel of ancestry, respect, place and time. Bookwagon recommends this beautiful, Australian award-winning title highly, especially to older, mature middle grade and tween readers.

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Crow Country

Kate Constable

(Allen & Unwin)

Before The January Stars, there was Crow Country, Kate Constable’s CBCA winner. What a lyrical, determined, magnificent novel!
When Sadie’s mother, Ellie, determines they should remove to Boort, the country town where she visited her grandmother, Sadie is resistant. Small country towns are very different from cities and Boort seems to have little to offer. However in exploring, she comes across a curious small lake bed that doesn’t resemble the lake of her mother’s memories. Furthermore, as she takes in her new surroundings she’s aware of a crow, ‘Waa Waa’; it seems to be talking to her.
Through footy, her mother’s rekindled relationship with an old flame, and then connections with Boort families and histories, Sadie begins to find her feet. However, the presence of the crow grows until it seems to catapult her into scenes of past history. What is her connection with Lachie’s family, and then with Walter’s? How do these intertwine with Ellie’s relationship? What is the secret that lies hidden in the lake bed? Thereafter, to whom does this land belong, really?
While dealing with a deep secret hidden by three families, Crow Country also considers native history, that of generations oppressed and forgotten, the Australian Aboriginal.
Bookwagon recommends this assured and convincing novel to older readers seeking a story of substance, depth and heart.

Winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Award. 


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