Gunnedah Hero by Clancy Tucker

Fourteen-year-old Gunnedah ‘Gunnie’ Danson has a 500-word assignment on drought. His late grandfather has left him a box containing a manuscript. It’s been written by Gunnie’s great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson after his journey up the long paddock during a harsh drought as a fourteen-year-old drover in 1910. At the back of the manuscript is an envelope. It’s NOT to be opened until Gunnie has read the entire story.

Gunnie spends the weekend at Wiralee Station; a cattle station that’s been in the family since 1848. There, he reads the awesome manuscript and learns of Smokey’s adventurous journey. Gunnie overhears several secretive conversations. His snobby Aunty Kate wants to divorce his uncle and sell Wiralee Station. He finishes the manuscript and opens the mysterious envelope. Will it legally prevent his aunt from selling Wiralee Station?


The Verdict

“There is much to learn and appreciate in this novel. There are references to bush lore, bush tucker and medicines, the wild life, the value of the Bulletin, the postal services, the country courts, all windows into life one hundred years ago. Though most names and some places are fictional, quite a few places are not and can be found via the Internet, including Gunnedah which still has its memorial to the murdered miners. There is a glossary of terms, a family tree in this absorbing family history, and a website for reader interaction. This is a valuable read for ages 10 and over, in fact for all ages. JDA”
Book review in CBCA magazine, ‘Reading Time’, February 2012 Vol 56, No 1. John Adams – Book reviewer – CBCA

 About the Author

Clancy’s been short-listed, ‘Commended’ and ‘Highly Commended’ in writing contests: 2006, 2007& 2011 National Literary Awards, Raspberry & Vine (twice), Positive words, Australian Writers On-Line, Shaggy Sheep Tale, The Cancer Council Arts Awards (2005 & 2008), The Dusty Swag Awards (2010) and had ten short stories published in literary magazines (Page Seventeen, Branching Out & Positive Words), newspapers (The Standard, Mountain Views & The Advocate), written articles for Kid Magazine in the USA and won a poetry prize to name a life-size statue designed by renowned Belgian sculptor, Bruno Torfs. In 2010, Clancy was awarded a two-week mentorship by the National Education & Employment Foundation. He is now a full time writer but has been a speechwriter, public servant, farmer and small business operator. Clancy has taught students in the University of the Third Age (U3A), worked with street kids and draws on life’s experiences to write entertaining stories for kids. ‘Gunnedah Hero’ has been published as a paperback and also in eBook format via This book has won two awards in the National Literary Awards: ‘Highly Commended’ in the FAW Jim Hamilton Award – 2007 and ‘Commended’ in the Christina Stead Award – 2011.

Clancy is about to publish his second book, ‘Pa Joe’s Place’. It is the powerful story about Boo, a seven-year-old girl he met in 1973 in Thailand. The sequel to ‘Gunnedah Hero’ will be published soon after – ‘A Drover’s Blanket’. His website is quite fascinating: Clancy also writes a daily blog which includes top guests from around the world: human rights lawyers, authors, illustrators, senior diplomats, young adults and many more: Check it out

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