Aussie School Books. Australian, Young Reader. Paperback rrp $9.95
Guest Reviewer - Anastasia Gonis
Rowan and Zach are first cousins but total opposites. Rowan is kind, although scared of heights and small for his age. He is ridiculed by the taller, athletic and fearless Zach. Their families always spend their holidays together in the Snowy Mountains.
Zach loves showing off. This gives him more opportunities to belittle his cousin and make himself shine. Zach heads out to cross a rope bridge above a river. Rowan is terrified. He has been told he will grow out of his fear, but he feels dizzy and breathless when he looks down. He knows he has to ignore Zach’s taunts and try to slowly make it to the other side. He is thrilled when he succeeds.
Zach leaves Rowan behind as he bounds ahead into the forest. Rowan is bedazzled by the beauty of the trees, the coloured lorikeets and the natural surroundings. Alone and fed up, Rowan decides to go back, but is in two minds about leaving his cousin. The weather changes and rain begins to fall as he catches up to Zach, so they shelter under a rock ledge to weather out the storm.
But the impatient Zach decides he’s had enough and sets out for the campsite. But hurrying along a slippery slope leaves him concussed and with a broken knee. Rowan is forced to ignore his fears and return across the now damaged rope bridge to bring help.
This story is about facing your fears, excepting yourself, and acknowledging that every person has special qualities which may at times be different to those of other people.
This is another of the terrific Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! series of books that always contain a lesson to be learned. The illustrations complement and visually reinforce the text for the reader.