A walk in the dark by Jane Godwin

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A Walk in the Dark by Jane Godwin is a suspenseful and exciting drama filled novel. A fictional story set in Australia’s own Great Otway National Park, near Apollo Bay in Victoria, this story will keep young adult readers, who enjoy a thrilling adventure, enthralled until the very end.

The novel sees students in year nine from Otway Community School heading out on a trip of a lifetime. They have been given the opportunity to take part in the Dutch dropping activity.  Johan, their head teacher, has set up this task as a resilience, team bonding and all-round great opportunity for personal growth and endurance. Set in the forest, the students are organised into groups of five and together they must navigate 20km unsupervised back to school with only a compass, torches and emergency phone.

The reader follows five of the students into the woods for their adventure. These five young teens, all with very unique and interesting qualities, are trying to find a way to connect with each other in order to complete this task successfully. But when the weather turns nasty, some local hoons cause mischief and a young girl is lost, will the five get out safely or will the forest be too much for them?

Jane Godwin has created an extremely engaging and interesting storyline. Highly relatable and real, this novel would appeal to those who enjoy excitement, suspense and human interactions. Dealing with personal relationships, adversities, feelings, complexities and more, this novel has everything to keep the audience enthralled. No reader will be able to put the book down until the very end! Teacher's notes are available.

Themes: Relationships, Problem solving, Creativity, Bullying.

Michelle O'Connell