Runaway - a young man's search for himself by Wendy Altschwager

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Norwood, SA. Peacock Publications, 2011. ISBN 9781921601378.
(Age: 15+) Rural life. Robbie, now 15 years of age, was abandoned at birth by his parents who were part of a shearing team and had no plans for a baby. He was cared for by his grandparents, his grandmother caring for him and his grandfather hitting him. At 15 he longed to find his real parents and left in search of them. He lacked self esteem and social skills but was determined to make something of his life and so his adventure began.
Working on a farm for Trevor and Dot he starts to find confidence and a sense of belonging, learning many farm skills and making new friends. After a year he decides to head off again to try to find his real parents, ending up in Hamilton where he works as a rousabout and then starts shearing. Here he meets his parents but unbeknown to them Robbie is their son. While working on a sheep station he also meets Harry who he dreams about and Jake who becomes a longtime friend. The two larrikins find themselves in all sorts of situations with country life, B and S balls, bush races, girls and good country fun. Robbie takes up the rodeo circuit bullriding and it is here he meets Maggie Thornton, the daughter of a powerful man within the district. A tragedy leaves Robbie with no job and a long recuperating period. But his life is about to change when Robert Thornton, father of Maggie offers him a job and then calls him into his office one day.
This is an easy flowing story that is easy to read and relate to with likeable characters.
Deb David