A modern Australian classic from bestselling author Libby Hathorn, now celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary.
Lara feels completely alone after her mother's death. She moves to the bush to live with her father, but his new family make her feel like an intruder, and a bully makes school just as unwelcoming. With the appearance of the mysterious dog Thunderwith, Lara begins to feel a connection to this harsh place. Will it ever feel like home - and will her stepmother and half-siblings ever feel like family?
THUNDERWITH has won numerous awards, including the Children's Book Council Honour Book Award (1990), the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (1991) and was also adapted into the classic TV movie THE ECHO OF THUNDER, starring Judy Davis, who was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Gladwyn.
THUNDERWITH was directly inspired by Libby's family holidays in the Wallingat rainforest: 'One night there was a huge storm and when I looked out of the window, this big black dog ran across the clearing, a very proud and wonderful-looking animal. Afterwards, when I climbed back into the bunk where I had been sleeping, there seemed to be this chanting thing going on between the thunder and the rain on the roof, "Thunderwith, Thunderwith." By morning, I had a story.'
'A powerful novel about hope and the human spirit's ability to finally win through.' - COURIER MAIL, Brisbane
'Hathorn deftly injects a sense of wonderment into this intense, very real story. Readers cannot help but be swept up on the action and emotion.' - AMERICAN PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
'A believable plot featuring a shattering climax and a satisfyingly realistic resolution.' - HORN BOOK
'... a powerful book with complex characters and a strong story.' - WEST AUSTRALIAN
'The parallels between the restorative powers of fantasy are juxtaposed against the cleansing, recuperative power of nature; the symbolic strength to be found in nature is as much to be observe in Libby Hathorn's imagery as is the concomitant power of the imagination.' - CHILDREN'S BOOK COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA
When her mother dies, Lara Ritchie must live with a father she barely remembers and his new family in the Australian outback. Coping with the death of a loved one is fairly common in YA fiction, but here Hathorn's commanding prose breathes new life into an old chestnut. In her adoptive home, Lara is greeted with open hostility from her stepmother and young siblings. Only her father loves her, and when he is called away on business, the girl must find comfort for her constant grief. As if in answer to her prayer, a handsome dog appears out of a storm, and immediately Lara senses a bond between them--a bond inextricably linked to memories of her mother and the aboriginal stories told at school. By weaving these colorful Koori legends and the strange beauty of the Australian wilderness into Lara's struggle, Hathorn deftly injects a sense of wonderment into this intense, very real story. Readers cannot help but be swept up in the action and emotion. Ages 12-up.