Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Trial by Walkabout" by Margot Finke

I admit I’m a fan of Margot Finke’s stories.  I loved everything about Down Under Calling.  I thought The Revenge of Thelma Hill was just scary enough.  I enjoyed the banter between Taconi and Claude -- plus learning more about life “down under.”  So how do I like her latest middle grade novel, Trial by Walkabout?  It’s another love fest!  This is a compelling adventure that keeps you on your toes, wondering what could happen next as Bindi and Josh go “walkabout” in the outback.

Young teens Bindi and Josh are the grandsons of Taconi and “the Boss,” the previous owner of the Cooparoo Cattle Station.  They grew up and played together before Josh went off to boarding school.  They’ve grown apart over the years and meet up again in this story when Josh is locked out of his house after a fight with his big brother Tom.

Josh thinks up a plan to get even with Tom and going walkabout with Bindi fits his needs perfectly.  Here's Bindi challenging Josh to go walkabout with him:

Bindi stood and laughed. “You white boys big crybabies. Your mum, your fridge not there . . . You die!” He pointed to the scattered gum trees and acacia bushes battling to survive on the other side of the homestead’s fence. “All you need is there. I take you walkabout. We do bonzer, mate. You teach bossy brother a big lesson. You go!”  
How could he resist such an invitation.

But the actual walkabout is more of an adventure than the overnighter Josh bargained for.  The way the teens deal with the outback’s strange creatures, living off the land – even surviving personal danger – makes for great fun and edge-of-your-seat excitement.

I can’t give away the ending.  Suffice it to say that Josh learns a lot on his walkabout about the important things in his life and personal values.  He learns more about friendship and relationships along the way.  He struggles with his original plan to get back at Tom and wants to set things right, if possible.  It’s good to see his character grow.

Exciting stories that entertain us and remind us of our moral compass – these are the kind of books we need more of.  Thanks to Ms. Finke for another winning teen book.  Trial by Walkabout is recommended for ages nine to fourteen – especially reluctant boy readers.

Read more about Margot Finke at:

Trial by Walkabout is published by 
(Softcover but Ebook-PDF is only at Guardian Angel Publishing.)  Softcover also available from quality online booksellers like , (Kindle coming soon) and


  1. I used Margot's book Taconi and Claude as a supplement to my social studies unit on Australia/New Zealand. It was a real hit with my reluctant readers and gave me a chance to deepen and enhance my students understanding of those cultures. Margot writes with an authentic voice which makes the book resonate with my students.

    1. Hi Terry, that's really super! I think Margot's books are (to borrow from her) "bonzer!" Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wonderful review! If I wasn't already hooked on Margot Finke, I would be now.


    1. Hi Donna, thanks so much for your support. Yes, Margot Finke is a treasure and her books are swell, and great good fun.

  3. First, let me thank PENNY for being such a grand supporter of my writing. Hugs mate!!

    Your comment made my week!! I am thrilled that you used Taconi ad Claude to HOOK your class and reluctant readers. I have always thought of reading as a Magic Carpet Ride to far places and adventure. And I now offer FREE Skype Author visits to schools anywhere in the US. I would LOVE to bring my Magic Carpet of Books to your classroom and chat about writing, book ideas, and answer class questions. You might be interested to know that one of my most wonderful Skype experiences was with a school in New Zealand - simply awesome kids!!

    Many thanks for always being so supportive of my writing. It means so much when your peers approve.

    Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits

    1. Hi Margot, you're very welcome. Your books are great for kids and help get those reluctant boy readers involved. Wishing you much success as always. Thanks for your wonderful support to all of us.

  4. Hi Penelope, it's very nice to meet you. Your books look delightful!

    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your positive comments. (Any books ordered through me are signed with stickers! Use contact form.)