This all-ages fantasy adventure story about a group of kids searching for Yowies (Australia’s version of Bigfoot) in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales is action-packed, breakneck paced, and powered throughout by Australian myth and history.
The story is set in modern times. Kyle Jackson and his family have just moved to Glencairn from Australia’s Gold Coast, and he is finding his new home much different than the white sand and blues skies he is accustomed to.
His father, an investigative journalist, has been transferred to the rugged Blue Mountains to substantiate or disprove rumors of the existence of Yowies—giant orange-haired hominids that are Australia’s version of the Yeti. But while Kyle’s younger sisters are assimilating well, Kyle and his new friend Dean can’t seem to stay out of trouble. A couple of thuggish bullies have made it their mission to make Kyle and Dean’s existences as unpleasant as possible.
When Kyle, his sisters and two friends get a chance to go on an adventure attempting to locate the Yowies via a subterranean map, they take advantage of the opportunity, although not exactly with parental approval. What transpires is a nine-day adventure filled with wonder that includes mythical creatures and more than a few prehistoric dinosaurs indigenous to Australia. (While never stated directly, it appears they are transported back in time.) During this exhausting ordeal, each young person involved has his/her character tested in some way—and, at the end of it all, they are wiser, irrevocably changed from their experience.
Although tonally reminiscent of Jules Verne’s classic Journey to the Center of the Earth, this novel has a decidedly contemporary feel to it. The teenaged protagonists are authentic, believable, and identifiable—and ultimately this fantastic adventure is about something very intimate: the power of family and friends, and the revitalizing strength that comes from those relationships. Big Foot Adventures Down Under is highly recommended for adventurers of all ages.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.