Zeelie wonders if they’re in danger. When temperatures soar to 47 degrees one hot summer day, 12-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.
47 Degrees, by award winning author Justin D’Ath, is timed to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the horrific Black Saturday bushfires.
Our main character is 12 year old Zeelie, from the small Victorian town of Flowerdale. Her Dad is a plumber and is bushfire prepared. But nothing could prepare them for the soaring heat and roaring flames as they are forced to flee their home, leaving her precious horse, Rimu, behind.
Their journey to safety to the refuge centre set up in Yea, shows the generosity of spirit of so many people. The forming of friendships, through a comradery built around such a tragedy, can steel a community.
One hundred and seventy three lives, and an estimated 1 million wild and domesticated animals were lost, and Justin D’Ath tells this story so well, based on his own first hand experience.
This is a fantastically well written adventure that will sit tremendously well in classrooms for group reading and discussion. Best suited to readers aged 10—14.
Reviewed by Rob