Great book review in CBCA magazine

Wow! The latest magazine from the Children's Book Council of Australia, 'Reading Time', contains a review of Gunnedah Hero – Vol 56 No. 1 February 2012. I have entered this book in two categories of the CBCA Awards. Let's hope I crack one, eh? Here is what was said by John Adams:

“**TUCKER, Clancy, 'Gunnedah Hero', Clancy
Tucker Pub, 2011 278pp $35.00 pbk ISBN

A Sydney boy, 14 year old Gunnedah ‘Gunnie’
Danson, inherited from his grandfather a box
of documents which he discovers includes a
journal written by his great-great grandfather,
Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson. There is a letter
attached which he is not to open until he has
read the manuscript. He asks his father to take
him to the family property Wiralee Station in
northern New South Wales managed by his
uncle, Wirra Danson, where he would be in
the right place to read the journal. It is the
time of the recent drought and the journal set
in 1910-11 also dealt with a time of drought.

Smokey Danson’s journal wrote of a major
event, in his life (at the age of 14) on Wiralee
when the drought had crippled the country,
and the only answer was to drove the cattle,
keeping them on the move through the ‘Long
Paddock’, to be sold at Armidale. Smokey’s
father was laid low following a snake bite, and
it was left to young Smokey, well-experienced
despite his youth, to take the cattle on his
own. Smokey describes in his journal the
adventures and misadventures on the way, the
people he met and the townships he passed
through and the life of the time. He has
the devoted help of his horse, Cracker, and
his dogs. Among the people he met was an
Aboriginal drover, Billie, who was to become
head stockman at Wiralee. Smokey found
himself a hero when the dogs led him to a
hidden store of gold in an old shed, put there
by two goldminers who had been murdered for
it - the discovery led to the conviction of the
murderer and to Smokey becoming a celebrity
as the ‘Gunnedah Hero’. At Armidale, the
cattle had arrived in such good condition that
they sold well following the breaking of the
drought, and hero Smokey returns home to
a warm welcome from his family and from
Mollie Swenson, a school friend (who was to
later become his wife).

Gunnie’s weekend at Wiralee was not without
drama also. While his father and uncle were
absent, he overheard his cross-patch aunt
Kate on the phone to a lawyer planning to
divorce her husband and force the sale of
Wiralee. But the letter he could not open
until he had read Smokey’s manuscript helped
here. In those hours Gunnie was able to gain
an understanding of the family heritage of
Wiralee and want to be part of it.

There is much to learn and appreciate in this
novel. There are references to bush lore, bush
tucker and medicines, the wild life, the value
of the Bulletin, the postal services, the country
courts, all windows into life one hundred
years ago. Though most names and some
places are fictional, quite a few places are not
and can be found via the Internet, including
Gunnedah which still has its memorial to the
murdered miners. There is a glossary of terms,
a family tree in this absorbing family history,
and a website for reader interaction. This is
a valuable read for ages 10 and over, in fact
for all ages. JDA”

Many thanks to John Adams for taking the time to read my book and review it.