Jingaroo by Mavis Thorpe Clark

Melbourne: Oxford University Press Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1950.
186 pages; hard-cover; 19cm; not illus
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About the story

"Jingaroo is the small Victorian country township which is the scene of young Robin Grant's adventurous first year on his uncle's farm. The Saunders children - the two boys, Rae and Johnny; the warm-hearted Janey with her passion for the wilder kind of romantic fiction; and the irrepressible twins, Tip and Taddy - are inclined at first to resent Robin as a new comer. But he gradually wins them around, and when he finally takes an important part in outwitting an unpleasant neighbour and thus saving the farm (which the family were in danger of losing), he is at last accepted as one of the family."

- Jingaroo (1951) blurb.

Background

This story was originally written in 1932, as a serial entitled The Red School and published in "The Young Folks' Page" of The Australasian in 1936. Many years later, with names of characters changed, this story was developed into the full-length book, Jingaroo, which was published in 1950. In 1951 it became the radio serial Jingaroo and was played on 3DB later that year, with a re-run in 1953.

Excerpt

"Quickly, he set out, following the course of the creek.

It was a friendly little creek, with a deep wide bed between low, twisting hills. In places it was very broad and shallow, running swiftly over water-worn rocks, gurgling loudly but with a happy rhythm; in other parts it swept silently over smooth, coarse golden sand or ran deeply in narrow channels. There were colourful water-weeds and mosses on the rocks, and tall spiky rushes at the edges of the sandy stretches. The water was clear and sparkling and, during the hottest of the summer months, never ceased to flow...

Robin was walking smartly along, hands deep in his pockets and a woeful whistle on his lips when he came suddenly on the old hut. It was half-hidden by a couple of wattle-gums that draped their foliage over its rusty rough-hewn timbers."

- Jingaroo (1951) page 44.

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Cover page from Jingaroo showing two boys and an unconscious girl in a mine shaft.

Cover page from Jingaroo, 1950.

Illustration from the book - miner's tent with winch, pick and gold pan.

Illustration from the title page of Jingaroo, 1950.