First published in 1962, Hills End is regarded as a turning point in Australian children's literature, paving the way for much subsequent Australian adventure fiction.
On a fateful day in Hills End, a timber-milling town in the mountains of Victoria, seven children and their teacher set off to explore caves in the nearby mountains said to contain ancient Aboriginal rock art. While they are deep inside the mountain caves a storm of tremendous violence all but sweeps the town away and threatens to leave them stranded on the mountain. Tackling flooded creeks and washed out paths and fallen trees, the children make their way back to Hills End injured and exhausted, only to face a new battle to survive in the denuded town.
Ivan Southall was the first Australian author to receive the Carnergie Medal, and was awarded the Australian Children's Books Council Book of the Year on three occasions. He wrote over 60 books in his lifetime and has been published in 23 different countries. He died in 2008.
'The author has the power to get inside his characters, and through them express his faith in human nature in the goodness of man...a solid work, strong in action, mood and discipline.' New York Times
'A book that has haunted me for years.' Ramona Koval, By the Book
'I would highly recommend this novel for both children and adults as the vivid imagery which Southall creates is something which is not as prominent in today's literature. I believe that it is important for young people to read books like this as they encourage a love for the written word, something which is often neglected these days.' ReadPlus review blog