47 degrees by Justin D’Ath

Hi everyone, this week’s post takes the reader to another extreme of the temperature scale and tells a tale of survival from a forest fire. The young heroine in this story finds herself and her family in a dangerous situation and well… you’ll have to read on to find out…

cover image of large orange cloud behind girl and dog running on hill. large brown/black letters across read 47 Degrees. bottom edge orange letters Justin D'Ath.
A thrilling read

Title: 47 degrees

Author: Justin D’Ath

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Puffin Books; Australia, 2019

ISBN: 9780143789079   (Paperback)

What this book is about: When temperatures soar to 47 degrees one hot summer day, twelve-year-old Zeelie hopes the nearby bushfires everyone’s talking about aren’t heading towards her family’s new home. What will they do if the wind changes direction? What about their belongings and their beloved pets? And why hasn’t her mum and brother returned from Melbourne? Nothing can prepare Zeelie for what’s to come. A fast-paced and poignant novel of survival by Justin D’Ath that draws on his own experience of escaping the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires.

My review: What a read this was!! I had a vague memory of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Australia but after reading this book, it made all that footage I saw on TV even more poignant. Justin D’Ath’s descriptions of the nature of bushfires, the many survival techniques used by those who live in rural Australian communities and their courage and kindness was expertly written in young Zeelie’s voice. She is a brave and kind girl, whose actions helped so many. I didn’t think I would feel moved by a book like this until I read the author’s notes at the end which included photographs from the author’s own property that was affected by these fires. I really liked this book and I felt that tales such as these have the ability to give the respect and admiration we as humans should have for the forces of nature instead of fear!. 

My rating: 4 ⭐

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