Review Blog

Oct 29 2015

Mister Cassowary by Samantha Wheeler

cover image

UQP, 2015. ISBN 9780702253881
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Cassowaries are unusual creatures and I admit my understanding of them was very limited until I read this novel. Samantha Wheeler weaves her knowledge of cassowaries throughout the book and the reader learns about this strange creature along with the main protagonist, Flynn.
Flynn has journeyed back to his deceased grandfather's banana farm with his Dad in an attempt to clean up the property ready for sale.
From the beginning of the story it is evident that Flynn's dad is apprehensive about the farm and scared of the cassowary bird.
Flynn discovers his grandfather's interest in the birds from books and articles he finds in the house and becomes more and more worried about a cassowary that his father struck with a car when they approached the farm.
He also meets a local girl Abby who helps Flynn when he discovers two seemingly unprotected baby cassowaries.
There are many mysteries and unanswered questions that Flynn wants solved. How did his grandfather die? Why won't his father talk about it? Why is his father so scared of the birds?
The story is well constructed and has a satisfying conclusion when all the answers are provided and misinformation corrected. It is a learning journey for both Flynn and his dad.
Facts about cassowaries and links to more information are provided at the end of the book.
By the way don't confront a cassowary as they can kill you!
This book is recommended for children who enjoy animal stories and students from 8 years and older.
Jane Moore

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