Reviewed By Ryan Jordan for Readers’ Favorite
Outback: Bothers and Sinisters, A Family Tree Novel by Mark Wayne Adams is an excellent novel about Driew, a character we meet tied up as a scarecrow and left behind by his brothers and sisters. He refers to them as his bothers and sinisters, and throughout the work we are gradually introduced to his family and start seeing what he is going through. We see his life as a middle school student, such as friends who are only friends while he can do something for them (buying cookies, sitting at their table) but stop being friends as soon as he is unable to perform. Worse still, he is tormented by his family, even while at school.
I really enjoyed reading this story, and there are a lot of moments that I am sure many tweens and teens will be able to relate to. It’s well written with a lot of snappy dialogue and clever descriptions. I like the way the story progresses from Driew not really having any friends to going on adventures, facing down tornadoes and his own family, and overcoming all of his obstacles. I also enjoyed how the author snuck in vernacular from the outback into the story and included a glossary and reading guide for anyone who is interested in learning more about it. This adds a little playfulness and depth to the overall story. Outback: Bothers and Sinisters, A Family Tree Novel by Mark Wayne Adams is a real winner of a story that young readers and adults of all ages will enjoy.