Review: Brumbies by Paula Boer (& Illustrator, Rowena Evans)

Brumbies, a children's adventure set in the Australian Snowy Mountains, and the first of a five part series, is a wonderful read for the 8 to 12 year old set, but certainly enjoyable for all ages. This is IFWG Publishing's first venture in publishing a book written in Australian English, in part to retain the authenticity of the characters and setting, as well as recognizing that Australian children – especially those who love horses – will be the primary readers. But don't misunderstand me – this book is a classic horse adventure and could very well turn into a classic, much like "The Silver Brumby".

The story is about a horse-loving city girl moving into the country – the highlands of Australia where, surprisingly for those who aren't Australian, can get cold and even snow in winter. A hardy wild horse, the Brumbies, roam the diminishing countryside, and have, to some extent, become a 'pest' to local farmers and parks. There is an annual mustering of Brumbies for the purpose of putting them down, and this shocks Louise, one of our protagonists. She and Ben, a local boy she befriends, work hard to find a way to save some of these beautiful creatures. This is the basis of the story for the first book.

I love reading children's titles as they take me back to when I was a child and enjoyed reading. My taste was quite eclectic, but I certainly can remember reading every single one of WIllard Price's 'Adventure' series. Reading Paula Boer's Brumbies rekindled those enjoyable years, and I certainly can thank her (and illustrator Rowena Evans) for that. While not a horse story reader, I can only imagine how wonderful stories will be for those with an equine bent.

Five deserved stars.

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