Subtitle: Australian Disaster Zones
By: Dianne Wolfer
Illustrated by: Lyn White
Genre: YFB - General fiction
Published by: A & U Children
Published: 30 Aug 2022
ISBN: 9781760877026


A powerful story of one girl's experience of 2019's Cyclone Veronica in Western Australia.

Mia is used to cyclone build-ups, but the noise and energy of the wild rain squalls keep her awake half the night. What if the cyclone hits before Mum gets back? As wild winds batter the coast, Mia knows she must keep calm. The animals need her.

Thirteen-year-old Mia lives on a bush block in the Pilbara, where she assists her mother's work as a vet and equine therapist. Although she is used to the seasonal cyclones that threaten the West Australian coast, nothing can prepare her for the ferocity of Cyclone Veronica when she finds herself home alone and needing to protect their property and the animals she loves.

When her friend Nick arrives, pleading for help, and her favourite horse is injured, will Mia be able to withstand the greatest challenge of her life? As the storm intensifies, can she save her beloved animals?

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Mia lives in the remote Western Australian Pilbara town of Wickham. It is March 2019 and she is about to have her life turned upside down.
Mia lives with her Mum, who is the local Vet, and they need to make a big decision. An expensive horse is about to foal 100 kilometres away but Cyclone Veronica is off the coast and slowly heading towards them. Mia encourages her Mum to go and save the horse while she remains behind to look after their menagerie of animals, including some that are being nursed back to health.

But they didn’t expect the problems that would occur during and after the birth, and then that the extreme weather would prevent her Mum from coming home. This leaves Mia to face the wrath of Cycle Veronica virtually alone, with only some help from her wonderful stockman neighbour Jimmy who checks in on her periodically. When a boy from school turns up with his injured Dad hoping for help from her Mum, will Mia be able to help him instead?

The things that Mia faces and accomplishes in the days that follow are truly remarkable, and will help set her up to fulfil her dream to follow in her Mum’s footsteps and become a vet herself.

This is a great story based on true events in Australia’s recent history with themes of friendship, resilience and coping in the face of real danger that will be enjoyed by readers aged 10 - 14 years.

Reviewed by Rob