EMMA: Freedom. That’s what bikes said to me. A rush of adrenaline, excitement,but most of all freedom.Escape. I wanted to ride.

ROSS: I wasn’t really living until I was on my RM. The wind in my face, my own weight moving the bike as if we were one. The bike was the only place I could just be me.

DAN: Wanting a motorbike had always been a drea. But now it had gone from a dream to a wish and a wish I was determined to make come true.

KATE: The KX125 and I moved forward – together. There was a wonderful, satisfying roar bellying up from the machine. It was fantastic.

LUKE: Riding a dirt bike is better than anything else on Earth. No two rides are ever the same – there’ll always be a challenge!

There used to be bush all around  Naringalong, but now there’s a housing estate and hardly anywhere to ride.  For the kids near the new estate it is a summer of dirtbikes and discovery. Discovering that if you work at something hard enough – anything can happen. For Emma, Ross, Dan, Kate and Luke it is also the beginning of a new understanding: of friendship, family and … freedom.


Chapter 1

The scream of a Motor Bike. It was the first thing we heard as we stepped out of the car, stretching in the drive way of our new house.

A red dirtbike burned up from the bush below us. The rider accelerated as he rounded a group of five gum trees, and then disappeared back down the hill, a trail of dust wafting behind him.

‘Honda,’ Dan said knowledgeably, ‘CR80′.’ I could see him changing his mind about this place already.

‘It doesn’t mean he lives around here!’ I said.

‘One kid on a dusty dirtbike – did he think that meant instant friends, things to do, a whole new life?’

‘He – or it could be she, you know – probably just came out to ride for the day. The place is deserted enough.’

No way was I going to admit that part of me felt the same way as Dan. The part that had seen how beautiful that machine was, the sleek line of the pinkie-red body swooping over the engine; the way it moved with the rider – whoever the rider was …

Then the moving van pulled in, and there was no more time to worry about making friends or riding motor bikes.

← Back to all books

Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio