Ben Mansfield is only twelve, but he’s already got some man-sized worries. He’s losing his dad to a debilitating illness and his mum is struggling to keep the family together.
Ben lives in a sheltered bay, where shining cuckoos breed before travelling thousands of miles across the Pacific in their annual migration. When his parents decide to sell the farm that’s been in his family for generations, Ben’s life turns upside down. He has to grow up fast as change threatens everything he loves. But Ben finds an unexpected ally, and his decision to defy his father and raise an orphaned shining cuckoo takes him far from home, only to find himself in serious trouble.
Interest age: 9+
Reading age: 10+
Themes explored include: environment, good vs bad, survival, bullying, overcoming challenges, family, heroism, individual vs society, injustice,