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James Vance Marshall
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3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,482 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
Two modern school children learn the ways of the Australian Aborigines by taking a long trek through the Australian Outback.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Perfection Learning (first published January 1st 1959)
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Jan 15, 2012 Darryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was written by Donald G. Payne by 1959, who used the pseudonym James Vance Marshall, in honor of a man who lived in the outback of Australia and collaborated with Payne in its creation. Walkabout did not receive much attention until 1971, after a movie based on the book, but not faithful to it, was released, to critical acclaim.

Eleven year old Mary and her eight year old brother Peter are residents of Charleston, South Carolina who find themselves stranded after their Adelaide-bound p
Rebecca McNutt
With themes of nature and survival, this book set in the Australian outback is both vivid and intense, and as the two stranded siblings start to trust their new friend, it becomes a story about friendship and growing up.
Jul 11, 2014 Nandini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Walkabout was the very first book I was ever assigned for school. I remember very little of the discussions my class had about the book, but vividly recall almost every page of the book itself.

I'm surprised at people saying nothing happens in the book because in my mind, each plot point and each detail of Peter and Mary's interactions with the bush boy stand out clearly even 17-18 years after I read it: Mary clucking like a mother hen around Peter, the bush boy teaching the city kids to get wat
Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
Walkabout is a classic book about two American children who become stranded in the Australian outback after a plane crash. They are rescued by an Aboriginal boy who teaches them how to survive in this difficult climate. It is a short, easy read that is written for children, but I think this powerful book deserves an adult audience too.

Walkabout was first published in 1959. It reads like an Australian classic, but was actually written by an English author who spent time studying the country. The
5/7 - This was a set book for literature in about Year 9. Thinking about it now, over a decade later, after only reading it that one time, I'm surprised at how many details of the plot I remember. I didn't love it or hate it, landing at either end of the rating scale usually being the best way to make a book memorable. The 'just okay' books, of which Walkabout was one (from what I remember) tend to be the ones I forget. I'm interested to see if I get more out of this than I did as a 15-year-old. ...more
May 12, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

Walkabout is a story of diversity, three children's experience of life through great diversity - culturally, environmentally, racially and rite of passage, death is also addressed.

The arid desolate, barren land of Australia's Northern Territory is vividly described explaining the difficult surrounding Mary and Peter contended with, while bush boy was one with nature, again contrasts tying the story together.

"Sturt Plain, where the aircraft had crashed, is in the centre of the Northern Terri
Brother and sister were products of the highest strata of humanity's evolution. In them the primitive had long ago been swept aside, been submerged by mechanization, been swamped by scientific development, been nullified by the standardized pattern of the white man's way of life...It was very different with the Aboriginal. He knew what reality was. He led a way of life that was already old when Tut-ankh-amen started to build his tomb.
(Walkabout, pp. 25-26)

Noble savage sacrifices self to save civ
Apr 08, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure why I read this book. Maybe because it was reissued by NYRB, and I find it difficult to pass up their titles used? I bought this book at Barnes & Noble. If you live in the Twin Cities and find yourself in possession of a Barnes & Noble giftcard, I highly recommend checking out the HarMar location. They have used books! Wonderful, glorious used books. Not the best selection and not particularly well-priced, but used books nonetheless. Walking in to HarMar it's fun to ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Jalawa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very enjoyable read. There were so many life lessons in such a small book. Language and race is only a problem when one allows it to be a problem. When one is taught that it is a problem. One must learn for themselves the meaning of what life is supposed to be. When this is done, only then will unity, love and peace exist.
Ali Adenwala
This was a short, mildly enjoyable book. Throughout most of the story almost nothing happens, except for the death of the bush boy, and it continues that way until the end of the book. The first half was thoroughly captivating but along the way it got way too repetitive in its descriptions of the Australian outback (though very well written), and it didn’t really feel like it was going anywhere. It had a good message about cultural differences and acceptance but Marshal could have taken it a bit ...more
Karen Witzler
Mar 08, 2014 Karen Witzler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in the early Seventies. I love the Nicolas Roeg film, too, even though it changes some plot essentials.
At the time I read this, I didn't make a connection with the Burke and Wills expedition. I was once told a story about an Aboriginal man who showed up in an abandoned settlement during WWII, and, finding nobody there, led his family through the Outback to another settlement, arriving with all well-fed and healthy. His guide? Old stories told around campfires in his childhood.

Burke and Wills, on the other hand, died from having arrived at their appointed rendezvous a mere 9 HOURS too late. If the
Feb 22, 2012 Nicola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Zwei weiße Kinder treffen im australischen Outback auf einen Aborigine Jungen, der ihnen hilft, in der Wildnis zu überleben. Er zeigt ihnen, wie man Feuer macht, Essen findet und führt sie zu Wasserlöchern. Der Aborigine befindet sich gerade auf dem Walkabout, einem traditionellen Ritual der Mannwerdung.

Zum einen wird die australische Landschaft mit ihrer faszinierenden Tier- und Pflanzenwelt beschrieben, zum anderen treffen zwei völlig verschiedene Kulturen aufeinander: zwei weiße Kinder aus de
Sep 10, 2014 Caramel12 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Aboriginal culture and Australia in general. I first picked this book up in the 4th grade and have very fond memories of reading it 5 times. That's how spellbound I became with this book and till today though I look at it with new eyes and understanding, it yet still holds a fond place in my heart.
Jan 24, 2012 Tom marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Had never heard of this novel until reading review in NYRB, which I gather is actually the Intro to new NYRB edition. Siegel's intro also comments on a film version of the novel, which, though it sounds interesting in its own right, departs in some significant ways from the book (but then, don't they all ... or most) but that difference only highlighted the appeal of the novel. Sounds like another literary resurrection from NYRB worthy of our celebration and gratitude (and another cool cover, wh ...more
This short novel is notable for its really remarkable descriptions of the Australian landscape, as well as the sheer sadness and loveliness of the central storyline. I found Marshall's overall style to be a bit heavy-handed at times: the contrasts drawn between the Aboriginal boy and the American children (who are named Peter and Mary, leaving me to assume that the Aboriginal is the sacrificial Christ figure here, of pure goodness, dying for the sins of civilization) were hardly subtle. Still, f ...more
Aug 08, 2016 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I realize this book was written in the '50s, but damn it's uncomfortably racist and sexist. The copy I read was the movie cover version from 1971 and the tag line on the front reads "the Aborigine and the girl 30,000 years apart...together." Don't be subtle or anything, nope, just get straight to the point--the "bush boy" saving the white kids' asses is just a primitive caveman. There's a sentence in the book along the lines of "the bush boy wasn't used to thinking, just following his instincts" ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Presten Mahnke
Marry and Peter crash landed in a Australian dessert and they couldn't survive by there selves. They found this Aboriginal boy. They started following this boy who tought them how to survive and survival skills such as: Hunting for food, making a fire, catching food ect. They walked Northern Territory desert for about two weeks. Marry didn't like the bushboy because of the color of his skin because at this time in the United States discrimination was still going on. So Marry stayed far away from ...more
Sarah Kay
I read this in my early teens, which is probably the demographic the book was aiming at, at the time it was published.
The writing itself was a little vague when it came to the characters. It didn't delve very far, even for a Young Adult novel.
It was more about overarching themes than the characters themselves, which put me off a little.

Throughout the book, Vance Marshall outlined cultural and language barriers between the characters.
The details of culture were interesting, but the themes of co
Austen to Zafón
Interesting premise: After a small-plane crash in the Australian bush, the pilot and co-pilot die leaving only the passengers: a boy, Peter, age 9 and his sister Mary, age 14. After witnessing the death of both adults, eating the only food they have (a barley sugar stick), and drinking from a gully, they decide they must head for their original destination, Adelaide, where an uncle lives. Soon they realize that it's a lot further than they thought and that they have no idea how to survive. Enter ...more
Amy Rose
Jan 12, 2016 Amy Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and disliked it at the same time. Written in 1959, in some ways it describes our world today, "Coddled in babyhood, psycho-analysed in childhood, nourished on predigested patent foods, provided with continuous push button entertainment, the basic realities of life were something they'd never had to face".

Derogatory racial terms are used when the children name the Aboriginal boy "darkie", however I think this is a true reflection of the interaction between the cultures in the 19
English Education
***spoiler alert***
Crashing with a plane, the two American children Mary and Peter are the only survivors in the Australian outback. As they know that their uncle is married to an Australian woman, they want to find him in Adelaide, which unfortunately is on the other side of the continent. They start walking through the wilderness. On their way, they meet an Aborigine who helps them find water and food. Actually, the Aboriginal boy is on his walkabout to become a real man where he is not allowe
Jan 04, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: intl, australia
After seeing the movie many times, I decided to finally read the book. Not exactly the same--okay, barely the same--but just as interesting a survivor story. It was good, but I love the movie more. The book's description of the outback and its animals is super, my favorite part is when the kids observe a lyrebird. The film is way surreal and trippy at times, the book is straight up gritty realism. The book does get you more in the head of the characters, particularly the Boy and Mary, so their e ...more
Jun 15, 2014 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel "Walkabout" was first published in 1959. A walkabout is the Australian term for a journey on foot. Peter and Mary are siblings and the only survivors of a plane crash in the Australian outback. In the short 125 pages they meet an Aborigine boy who teaches them how to survive, experience the flora and fauna of the outback and forests. and learn about the native Aborigines of Australia. (There's even a glossary in the back to help understand terms.) Unfortunately, having been written 50 ...more
Apr 21, 2014 Babita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book numerous times and I still can't get over how beautifully written it is by Marshall about the vastness of Australia's wilderness. The description of the wildlife nature is incredibly intricate which I enjoyed very much. The relationship between the children and the Aborigine boy was simply admirable and touching. The poignant part where the Aborigine boy convinced himself that he was going to die made me think of how fragile, yet how powerful our minds can be, that it can be ...more
This is the story of an Aboriginal boy's walkabout and two American children lost in the Australian bush. When they meet, Mary and Peter learn about the desert. They follow the boy to food and water. Now they have finish their journey home!
Josephine Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Beautifully illustrative of the aboriginal outback, beautiful imagery and a simple classic story for young adults. I would have loved if this was longer.
Takuma Kusagawa
1. Penguin,Level2



4."For the bush boy, and for his tribe, there was a life plan. You were born, and then youwalked with your tribe. After that, you walked alone, on your walkabout. Then you were a man, and you lived with a woman. And after that, you died. It never changed. That was life."
In the world of Aborigine, this is a tradition. I thought there are various traditions in the world.

5.In this story, two American children lost in th
Marts  (Thinker)
An unusual story about an american girl and brother lost in the Australian outback and the aborigine they meet.
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Pseudonym of Donald Gordon Payne.
He lives in Surrey, England, and has four sons and one daughter.

The Children, later known as Walkabout, though published under the name James Vance Marshall, was actually written by the English author Donald Gordon Payne as were a number of Payne's later works for children. The Children and other works were apparently based on Marshall's travel notes and diaries,
More about James Vance Marshall...

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