Away with the Birds

Illustration by Owen Bell

Fremantle Arts Centre Press

When we moved from the country to the city, I reckon Mr Neary’s pigeons next-door were more friendly than the kids at my new school. Maybe Mr Neary was lonely too. He taught me about racing pigeons – not exactly a day at the footy! No grandstand, no crowds, no screaming and shouting, and all the birds finishing in different parts of town. Those pigeons fly hundreds of kilometres. It sure makes the Melbourne Cup look like a sprint.

You can talk to a pigeon, yeah. Pooper-doo poop! And understand them too. It’s still hard to talk about when Tailspinner went missing, but that’s when I found I did have mates at school. They’re still my mates – and so are my birds, you betcha!

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The story resonates with authenticity. It is gentle and memorable and the dialogue realistic.
 Judges’ report, CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2002


This magical book for primary school-age children will bring a lump in many an adult’s throat. Errol Broome’s keen eye for language turns this story into a delight. You’ll have to read this super book to find out if he (the homing pigeon) makes it.
Sally-Ann Jones, The West Australian , Sept 9, 2000

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