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The Nargun and the Stars

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  31 reviews
After a millennial sleep, the stone-like Nargun awakes to roam the land again--unless a recently orphaned little boy and his new family can somehow halt the mythic creature's deadly advance.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Puffin (first published 1970)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  313 ratings  ·  31 reviews


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Brendan
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Few books had as profound an impact on me when I was growing up. This haunting tale of a lonely boy discovering an ancient stone Nargun, a creature straight from Aboriginal mythology, on his uncle's rural property had me spellbound. It still does. Wrightson, who died in 2010, was criticised for using indigenous beings out of context, but what she was emphatically saying was that European mythology doesn't belong here - Australia has its own dragons and elves. And ever since I have viewed the bus ...more
Kate Forsyth
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Patricia Wrightson was my favourite Australian author when I was a child, and ‘The Nargun and the Stars’ was one of my favourites of her books. I found myself giving a very impassioned speech about her at an event on ‘Writing Villains for Children’ at the NSW Writers Centre in late October, which led into a long conversation with members of the audience afterwards. I came home, went straight to my bookshelf, got down my old copy of this book, and read it again that night. It’s as wonderful as I ...more
Valerie
One of very few books that successfully depict silence. The story is almost an afterthought to the description of life in the Australian Outback
Sally906
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
THE NARGUN AND THE STARS is a children's fantasy novel set in Australia, but instead of the European fairy folk who are too delicate for our rugged country author Patricia Wrightson uses our homegrown dreamtime bush creatures – far more suited to the land. The Nargun is a fierce half-human half-stone creature that lived in the Den of Nargun in the Gippsland Victoria, the Den of Nargun is a real place and is a cave under a rock overhang behind a small waterfall. All Nargun wanted was peace and qu ...more
Alex
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A formative work for me, now re-released in paperback form by none other than my own employer's press. Time, I find, has dimmed the beauty of Wrightson's prose only little; she masterfully sketches the vast wildness and sense of isolation that the Australian bush summons. I have my suspicions that those to whom the bush is alien--like Wrightson's characters, I was raised there--will perhaps not connect with this book as much as I did. Four stars, because at the end of the day this is a children' ...more
Nooshin
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-age
مزاحمِ طبیعت نباشیم .
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathleen by: P.D.R. Lindsay
This book was first published in 1974, at which time I was too old to be interested in children's books, and my own children were still in the future. If it hadn't been for my Goodreads friend waxing lyrical about this author I may never have read this book. And that would have been my very great loss.

Young Simon has been very recently orphaned and was living in a Home until his mother's second cousin, Miss Edith Waters (who has 'sudden grey eyes'), arrived to offer him a home with her and her b
...more
Luke
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable YA book. I first was read it in class breaks when I was ten, and it still resonates. It encapsulates the feeling of ancient time, of hidden workings in the bush. Deeply spiritual without being preachy, it's a classic.
Libby
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie, kids
My second favourite childrens book of all time. There is such magic in this book. I remember being entranced by all the mythological creatures, it really transported me to another place and gave me a sense of the beautiful, mysterious spirit our country has.
anon
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I loved this book from the front cover to the back page. It was absolutely funny and enjoyable. I personally think that this book is full of great descriptions and humor. If you are deciding whether you want to read this book or not, I say you should.
Amber Scaife
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A recently-orphaned boy goes to live with his middle-aged cousins on their sheep ranch in the Hunter region of Australia. Coincidentally, the ranch has another new resident in the Nargun, an ancient and quite grumpy, um, boulder-like, thing.
Oh, this one is so good. So. Good. A boy exploring the lovely nature all round him (which includes, delightfully, all sorts of creatures from Australian Aboriginal mythology), parental figures who are loving and absolutely lovable in their gruff-but-kind way
...more
Fiona
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved revisiting this book from my childhood. To be honest, I couldn’t remember much of the content of the book, all that came to mind was an overwhelming feeling of sadness and of longing, of hurt and heartache. As I reread this poignant book, these emotions all returned. At the same time, there was also a glimpse of hope in the transformation of Simon, and the tale is also full of beauty - the joy of the Australian bush, the love of Charlie and Eddie for both Simon and the land with all its ...more
Andrew
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
40 or so years ago, I read this book numerous times. Now, I say it stands up pretty well after all that time. It's an early sort of fantasy novel with ecological themes set in the Australian bush, as modernizing rural development comes into conflict with the ancient ones. Muted, but not insignificant allusions to the people who predated European "settlement."
Peter Wood
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great story which has gifted me with great imagery.
Charlotte Kinzie
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
one of my favourite books as a kid! scared the day lights out of me
P.D.R. Lindsay
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had been able to meet Patricia Wrightson. She created a mythology for non-indigenous Australians which should have given them an understanding of their unique land and culture. She took the creatures of the dreamtime and gave them shape and form for non-aborigional people.

Her imagination and creative powers were exceptional. As a writer she never 'told', she showed. She's a great example for new writers to learn how to show in their writing and not tell the reader.

Here we have Simeon,
...more
Leland
This is a wonderful book about a young boy named Simon Brent who, having been orphaned, is taken to live with relatives in a remote area of Australia called Wongadilla. There he encounters a magical world inhabited by ancient creatures. A remarkable blending of Australian Aboriginal mythology and 20th Century Australian culture, The Nargun and the Stars is one of the most estimable Juvenile Fiction books I've encountered.

The language of the book is worth mention. Wrightson employs a language and
...more
Clare O'Beara
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An Australian fantasy which introduces us to the mythical beasts of this continent. The nargun is a rock-like being disturbed by a bulldozer and grader. The boy who lives on his family's station discovers that this ancient being has woken up and is not in a good mood. A pot-koorock - a mischievious but helpful froglike creature comes to talk to him and tells him about the nargun. There is also a bunyip or dangerous creature living in a waterhole.

I came to this book through reading other Australi
...more
Karen
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-ya
Written in 1974 by Australian author Patricia Wrightson, this is a great kid's book of the sort I grew up reading. Set in a remote sheep run in the far north of Australia, it incorporates a host of trickster characters, the Potkoorok, the Turongs, the Nyols, and the dangerous primeval monster, the Nargun. It is also the lovely story of a young orphaned boy coming to grips with the death of his parents and the drastic upheaval of his normal life in the city to his new life with his mother's cousi ...more
Steve Morris
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful children's book that I read at the age of 10 and then read with my 9-year old son.

Set in the Australian outback, it tells the story of a young boy from the city, exploring his new surroundings, meeting the creatures of the forest and the swamp, learning about their tales and their magic. The Nargun is an invader in the forest, ancient, violent and unpredictable. The boy is an outsider too, as are the digging machines that have started work clearing the valley.

How will the boy
...more
Tyler Grant
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
This is my favorite childhood book. It captured the mystery of nature that I felt I growing up. The ancientness and wisdom of the wild places, where special spirit exists. I'll never forget how the water spirit (can't remember his name) watched the boy gently picked up the frog that had been run over and said he had never seen in many years someone treat the wild things with such gentleness and care. That boy is still in me and I own a worn copy of this book that holds a place of honor on my boo ...more
Alison Barber
A favourite from my childhood which has withstood the test of time. Aboriginal mythology woven into the gentle story about orphaned child Simon Brent who goes to live with his mum's cousins Edie and Charlie. The mischievous Potgarook, the Turongs and TW slow, lumbering, primeval Nargun that must be driven away. Plenty of tension and a tremendous sense of our place in the continuity of things and our insignificance. Lovely read.
Samantha Fleming
Ill admit this wasn't the best book Iv'e ever read, but there were some parts that I really enjoyed. I thought that if it was just a nice story about Simon moving in with Charlie and Edie instead of being about supernatural creatures, it would have been better. But I really enjoyed Patricia Wrightson's writing and I was able to really like the characters. Saying this, this wasn't my type of book, but I can understand how lots of people would really enjoy this book.
Tayvion
Book Title: Nargun and the Stars
Author: Patricia Writchtson
Review: The Nargun and the the stars was kind of confusing at first, but then i got it. There’s a boy named Simon who got adopted and found weird things happening. Then once he thought didn’t exist he saw. A Nargun is what he found. Stories was told about it, but it sounded like a myth. Well, jokes on Simon it’s real.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
The Nargun isn’t happy and that’s is not good. Men are tearing up the lovely forest and the Nargun will not put up with this. A lovely ecology-minded tale from Australia.
Adele
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I remember being fascinated: as one reader said: the magic in this so different to the English magic
Levi
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best YA book ever.
Nikki
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great child's book blending aboriginal mythology and 20th century. Beautifully written.
Rebecca
Sep 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read this at school, in year 7 or 8 I think. I didn't like it at all, but maybe I'd appreciate it more now...
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Winner of the Dromkeen Medal (1984).
Patricia Wrightson is one of Australia's most distinguished writers for children. Her books have won many prestigious awards all over the world. She was awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in 1977, the Dromkeen Medal in 1984 and the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1986, all for her services to children's literature. She is a four-time winner of the A
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