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Outback
Cover of Outback
Outback
Borrow
Since his girlfriend dumped him, Jayden has been avoiding school-and life in general. When his eccentric uncle Mel invites him to help with his biology research at an Australian university, he figures he has nothing to lose. Once he arrives, he discovers Mel is obsessed with finding a new species of lizard and is determined to be the first to discover it. Unfortunately, this means an expedition into the scorching desert heat of the Australian outback...with the increasingly paranoid Mel and an unfriendly biology student named Natalie. Then disaster strikes, and Jayden and Nat find themselves many miles from civilization fighting for their survival.

Also available in Spanish.
Since his girlfriend dumped him, Jayden has been avoiding school-and life in general. When his eccentric uncle Mel invites him to help with his biology research at an Australian university, he figures he has nothing to lose. Once he arrives, he discovers Mel is obsessed with finding a new species of lizard and is determined to be the first to discover it. Unfortunately, this means an expedition into the scorching desert heat of the Australian outback...with the increasingly paranoid Mel and an unfriendly biology student named Natalie. Then disaster strikes, and Jayden and Nat find themselves many miles from civilization fighting for their survival.

Also available in Spanish.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.7
  • Lexile:
    590
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

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About the Author-
  • Robin Stevenson is the author of more than twenty-five books for kids and teens, including Pride Puppy!, Pride Colors and Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change. The first edition of her nonfiction book Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community (2016) won a Stonewall Honor and was shortlisted for numerous other awards. Robin lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2011

    Gr 6-10-Jayden is down and depressed after his girlfriend dumps him, and when a chance comes to go to Australia to visit strange Uncle Mel, he figures, why not? He discovers that his biologist uncle wants to go into the Outback to find a new species of lizards, and the mission seems almost suicidal. Accompanying them is Mel's research assistant, pierced and surly Natalie. All signs point to disaster, and the ultimate happens: the truck catches fire with most of their supplies and belongings in it and leaves them stranded at least 10 days away from civilization with no hope of anyone driving, walking, or flying by. Unfortunately, the plot wraps up a little too neatly and easily, and there's no real romance, drama, or survival smarts happening in the meantime.-Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Oakland, CA

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2011
    Grades 5-8 Devastated by a breakup, Jayden jumps at an offer to visit his biologist uncle in Australia. He arrives just in time to join a secret and ill-advised outing to Lake Disappointment, a remote salt flat where species of lizards unknown to science may dwell. On the way, Uncle Mel's conviction that rival scientists are out to steal his thunder blossoms into full-blown paranoia, and when their vehicle catches fire hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement, he abandons Jayden with hostile assistant Natalie to strike out on his own. As if being stranded with few supplies in an oven-hot wilderness wasn't bad enough, Natalie then reveals that she has an endocrinal disorder and her supplies of medicine are running out. In this short, no-frills survival tale from the Orca Soundings series, Stevenson sets up a seemingly hopeless situation, lets her young protagonist rise to the challenge, and, in the wake of a lucky but credible rescue, leaves him at the end with a fresh lease on life. The focus on action and simple prose should draw indifferent and below-grade readers.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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    Orca Book Publishers
  • OverDrive Read
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