The Hills Kids
Inspire your kids to connect with nature, develop a passion for reading novels and empower their imagination with The Hills Kids. Join Archie, Pippa, Ollie and their scruffy dog named Kimba on a wild and wacky adventure in the Australian wilderness!
A hilarious, high-octane drama, The Hills Kids lifts the spirits and creates a fun bonding experience when read as a family. Even kids drawn to technology have put down their screens to enjoy The Hills Kids. You and your kids will fall in love with the people, the enchanted places and the wondrous Australian wildlife.
The Hills Kids is brought to life by two-time British Academy Award-winning film sound designer, dad, and health educator Gareth Vanderhope.
Starting with a crazy rolling race down a steep mountain road, the hills kids embark on an adventure in their foresty neighbourhood to solve a diabolical problem. The novel spans four seasons, where the rhythms and personalities of the environment intersect with the children's lives and escapades. Enchanting, wondrous and taste-bud tickling, there's plenty of wild food, skin-tingling excitement and exotic sights, sounds and smells to give kids a sensory reading experience that'll leave them thirsting for more.
The 278-page novel is for children aged 8 to 12.
"The Hills Kids is such a hilarious and exciting extravaganza. I couldn't take my eyes off it until the very last page!" Leia, 11 (independent reader)."We loved reading The Hills Kids as a family and looked forward to reading it each night. We fell in love with the characters and their adventures." Elie, Mum (read with 8-year-old son).
Meet the players
Archie: a spiky-haired boy who wears odd socks and loves his dog, Kimba. From a single-parent family, and the ultimate underdog, Archie has a resilient spirit and an optimistic view of life.
Archie provides readers with opportunities to develop empathy for kids with less material wealth. He demonstrates that persistence, resilience and kind-heartedness are powerful allies for a good life.
Pippa: a quick-witted girl with natural style and acrobatic flair. A strong female character, she suffers no fools and has a mind of her own. There's nothing Pippa loves more than making secret wishes, climbing trees and having a good laugh.
Pippa is a role model to readers, showing that being assertive, athletic and smart are great traits for achieving your goals.
Ollie: the ultimate goofball, characterised by his pocket obsession and always having a solution at hand. A budding scientist, gourmet chef and opera singer, he's great to have around for his hilarious antics and showmanship.
Ollie shows readers that it's okay to be yourself and that good friends are there to help when it counts.
Kimba: Archie's scruffy black dog who loves chasing chickens, rolling in compost and disappearing with a pretty white poodle. Yep. Dogs love stinky stuff!
What do the hills kids discover in the forest?
The friends continue in a slow crawl, pressing their hands and knees gently on the fungusy forest floor to avoid stick cracks or leaf crunches that will scare the creature away. Goosebumps sprinkle over Pippa's arms from the cold gully air. She pauses behind the ferns and parts two fronds, revealing a scratched earth clearing and a dirt mound. Everyone freezes in excitement and awe . . .