This is the true story of fifteen-year-old John Murphy, who joined Leichardt s ill-conceived Expedition of Discovery in northern Australia in 1844 and was extremely fortunate to have survived this gruelling journey. Each of Murphy s diary entries is prefaced with an excerpt from Leichardt s journal.
Young Murphy was befriended by the naturalist/illustrator of the expedition and learned the art, and the text is accompanied by beautifully drawn illustrations of plants, animals and scenes encountered on the expedition. Murphy went on to become a wildlife illustrator of note himself.
Gary Crew writes short stories, novels and picture books. Gary is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. He is particularly interested in researching the creative links between fiction and nonfiction in his novels and the creative interface between print text and visual text in his picture books. During his publishing career of over 30 years Gary has won the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year four times, twice for novels and twice for his picture books; the New South Wales Premier's Award, the Victorian Premier's Award, the American Children's Book of Distinction, the Aurealis Best Children's Short Fiction, the Wilderness Society's Award for Environmental Writing, and the Royal Geographic Society Whitley Award. Gary lives on the waterfront of subtropical Bribie Island. When he is not writing or lecturing, he loves to walk by the sea or read.