After losing her parents in a car accident, Rose is living with her grandmother on a strawberry farm. She’s also suffering at the hands of class bullies, Kellee and Tahlia who tease her for her ‘bumpkin’ ways.
Rose doesn’t want to be like them anyway. She’s got more important things to think about – like the baby koala Smooch who she and Gran rescued after Smooch’s mother was killed by dogs.
With the help of wildlife carer Carol, and Rose’s dog, Lizzie, Rose looks after Smooch until the koala is able to be returned to the wild.
But when Gran is forced to sell the farm, things don’t look good for Smooch. The new owners plan to develop the farm and chop down all the trees to make way for a housing estate.
Rose can’t let Smooch lose his home. She starts a campaign to save the koala’s habitat.
Smooch and Rose is a book with heart about real issues, but it also has plenty of action and tension to keep the reader turning the pages. Rose is a strong and likeable character. An avid animal lover, she is tenacious in her fight to help those she loves.
This is an empowering story for kids, showing them that they can make a difference.
This compelling book also contains useful information about how readers can help koalas and other native animals.
Teacher’s notes are available at the website of publisher, University of Queensland Press – www.uqp.com.au
Author, Samantha Wheeler was inspired to write Smooch and Rose by real life circumstances, and a story she read in the newspaper about an eight-year-old Queenlsand girl who raised $20,000 to save native animals.
You can find out more about Samantha and her work at her author website.
MY SMOOCH AND ROSE WRITING TIP
Write what inspires you – what you are passionate about. If you write from the heart, you end up with a book that has heart like Smooch and Rose.