Book Reviews and Awards

A Rumour of Otters

Booklist July 1986

Savage, Deborah. A Rumour of Otters. 1986. l56p. Houghton, $12.95 (0-395-41186-6). YA Gr. 7-9. Angered by her father’s refusal to let her be a part of the annual sheep muster, which her brother Tod is allowed to take part in, 14-year-old Alexa runs away. Her destination is a distant lake in the desolate New Zealand mountains near her home, and her object is to find the otters previously seen enly by Billy, an eccentric Maori tribesman and family friend. Her quest to prove herself as able as Tod quickly becomes a test of survival, as does her brother’s journey to find her. Alexa’s inner growth as she struggles to understand her changing relationship with her parents and brother is well grounded; her mystical encounter with the animals, thrust into this otherwise realistic story, pushes at the believability factor. It’s the adventure that will appeal to readers, however, and Alexa’s role as a hearty female survivor is an added plus. Savage, who lived in New Zealand for a time, writes about the land with candor and strong feeling. BE. Otters -- Fiction | New Zealand -- Fiction [CIP] 85-24818 (Booklist July 1986)