On a fateful day in Hills End, a timber-milling town in the mountains of Victoria, seven children and their teacher set off to explore caves in the nearby mountains said to contain ancient Aboriginal rock art. While they are deep inside the mountain caves a storm of tremendous violence all but sweeps the town away and threatens to leave them stranded on the mountain.Tackling flooded creeks and washed out paths and fallen trees, the children make their way back to Hills End injured and exhausted, only to face a new battle to survive in the denuded town.
About the Author
Ivan Southall was born in Melbourne in 1921. His first published story appeared in the children's pages of the Herald newspaper in 1933. Southall left school at the age of fourteen, following the death of his father, and worked in various jobs, including as a copy boy at the Herald. He captained a Sunderland Flying boat in the RAAF during World War II and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross after sinking a German U-boat. (Southall was always grateful that forty-one members of the crew were rescued.) Many of his early books were based on his wartime piloting experiences. Southall met his first wife, Joy Blackburn, in England, and the couple returned to Australia after the war and lived in various semi-rural Melbourne suburbs. They had four children. Southall's first children's book, Meet Simon Black, was published in 1950 and he went on to write more than thirty works for young adults and several for adults. Hills End, published in 1962, marked a new direction in his writing and in Australian children's literature as he explored realism and a stream-of-consciousness style of narration. Southall's books were published widely internationally and he won more than twenty international awards including the Carnegie Medal in Literature and four Children's Book Council of Australia awards in the 1960s and '70s for Ash Road, To the Wild Sky, Bread and Honey and Fly West. In 1976 Southall married Susan Stanton. In 1981 he was awarded an Order of Australia, and in 2003 the Dromkeen Medal for services to children's literature. He died in 2008.
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Comments about Hills End:
"HILLS END" WAS IVAN SOUTHALL'S FIRST VENTURE IN TO REALISTIC FICTION FOR STUDENT READERS. IT IS A GRIPPING TALE OF A GROUP OF TEENAGERS WHO ARE FORCED TO LIVE AND SURVIVE WITHOUT ADULTS FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME AFTER STORMS DEVESTATE THEIR HOME TOWN, "HILLS END". I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND THIS NOVEL TO BE EXCITING, THOUGHTFUL, AND COMPASSIONATE, AS THE GROUP LEARN TO RELY ON EACH OTHER WHILST THEY BATTLE THE WILD ELEMENTS AND DIFFICULT SITUATIONS THRUST UPON THEM. I BELIEVE IT WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR ANY TEENAGER OR ADULT INTERESTED IN THE HUMAN CONDITION, AND THE REAL LIFE ISSUES OF DANGER AND FRIGHT THAT CAN OCCUR. AND THAT THESE PROBLEMS CAN BE OVERCOME IF PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER WITH RESPECT AND CARE FOR EACH OTHER.
'The author has the power to get inside his characters, and through them express his faith in human nature in the goodness of man...a solid work, strong in action, mood and discipline.' New York Times 'A book that has haunted me for years.' -- Ramona Koval By the Book 'I would highly recommend this novel for both children and adults as the vivid imagery which Southall creates is something which is not as prominent in today's literature. I believe that it is important for young people to read books like this as they encourage a love for the written word, something which is often neglected these days.' -- ReadPlus review blog
Series: Text Classics
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old
For Grades: 4 - 7
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 22nd May 2013
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 12.9 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.24