Review Blog

Feb 14 2012

The Tunnels of Tarcoola by Jennifer Walsh

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Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781742376752.
(Ages 10 +) Recommended. This historical adventure has four children, Andrea, Kitty, David and Martin, exploring the caves and tunnels under a suburb in Sydney. While researching a school research project Kitty meets an elderly nursing home resident and realises that her story is somehow intertwined with the old house and caves they are exploring. Also that it is linked with a new development planned for the suburb by the very sinister Mr Buckingham.
The four main characters are well defined and believable and the storyline exciting. The sympathetic interaction between the young and elderly characters is pleasing and the description of the caves and tunnels is vividly done.
There are references to the lives of young girls in service, Japanese submarines in Sydney Harbour and the treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust making this a good choice for an integrated History and English unit in Upper Primary.
Chris Lloyd

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