Canyon by Christopher J. Holcroft
Poseidon Books, Burleigh, Qld. 2008
ISBN 978 1921406768
(Ages 12+) Told by an expert in the field of real life adventuring, orienteering, outdoor education and Venturer Scouts, this story proves the worth of team work in times of trouble, the importance of training and organisational skills, and the national significance of rescue management.
A canyoning trip leads to near disaster but, because of the timely formation of a Rover volunteer network, an amazing rescue effort saves young Scott, who was initially instrumental in forming the groups, and his injured friend.
Though the story lacks the imaginative interest of fictional adventures, this true to life account will appeal to the young reader who prefers 'real' stories. Well researched and authoritative, Canyon, for its instructional nature, reads well, providing a good text for outdoor education groups and the like, and applauding the efforts of all Emergency Rescue Services. Mike, the Venturer leader, in instructing the young volunteers says, 'My aim is to ensure you can enjoy the challenges of the activity you choose to do and that if anything happens to you, you are self-reliant enough to get out of most problems or, you can get your mate out'. (p. 7) Such is the tone of this novel.