Where There's Smoke
By John Heffernan
“ Even though there is smoke all over the nearby hills and the bush is tinder dry, no-one seems to be overly concerned ”
This is an interesting book written for 10-13 year olds with every copy of the book sold benefitting the CFA. The 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria were the impetus to write the story and their impact and destruction are evident in its telling. Set in Edenville, a small fictitious country town somewhere in the bushfire belt of Australia, the main protagonist is a young boy new to the town. Even though there is smoke all over the nearby hills and the bush is tinder dry, no-one seems to be overly concerned. Until a wind change makes them re-think and suddenly all that is important to them is threatened. The writing is convincing and powerful, and successfully conveys the panic and trauma that develop in these situations. The author is John Heffernan - a farmer who has been touched by the bushfire experience, will be at the Scotch Literature Festival on Monday and Tuesday.
Reviewed by Mr P. Hillman (Head of Library)