I absolutely loved this book. It was full of suspense the whole way through and was a definite page turner.
The story is about Charlotte and her quest to join the drove so she can get to the West Coast. The reason for wanting to get to the West Coast is so she can look for her father, who has supposedly been killed for a golden nugget larger than his fist. However, to do this she must disguise herself as a boy, as the droves would never hire a girl back in 1866.
It had me intrigued when she decided to look for her father, even though she believed he had dumped her into a convent home after thirteen years. It implied she still had some kind of hope that he still loved her.
Her father’s friend, Tama, is Maori, and all throughout the drove is amazing everyone with his stories of Maori culture, such as the patupaiarehe, the fairies who live in the fog. He especially makes a mark on one of the drovers, and American immigrant, Joseph. Joseph moved from America to run from his past. His Mum is a Cherokee, and taught him how to ride and track. He makes fast friends with Charlotte despite her attempts to keep everyone away from her so noone will suspect she is really a girl.
But Charlotte has to spill her secret when she jumps into a river and nearly drowns. Joseph said he had to take her clothes of otherwise she would freeze to death. Charlotte and Joseph become very close, and it is proved when Joseph goes after Charlotte when she goes missing.
I liked how the author split the points of view between both Charlotte and Joseph to give a 3D view of the story. It keeps you thinking, ‘do they know?’ all throughout the story.
The plot was very well thought out since just when you thought everything was over, something else happens! The ending was a happily-ever-after moment, but a well planned one at that.
Reviewed by Melissa Smith, aged 12.
The Drovers Quest
by Susan Brocker
Published by HarperCollins