Everything you need to understand or teach A Rumour of Otters by Deborah Savage.
A Rumour of Otters focuses on a young woman's efforts to define herself in relation to her parents, brother, and community. What makes her struggle moving is that she not only rebels against the traditional domestic role assumed by rural New Zealand women but also proves her skill in two traditionally male roles—herding sheep and pursuing an education. The novel also depicts a young man's effort to prove his skill in the traditional male role of sheep herder, his father's occupation.
Where Savage especially succeeds is in her respectful portrayal of both characters' ambitions and their path to mutual understanding.
In the novel, fourteen-year-old Alexa rejects the life of a farm wife that her mother has fallen into. She wants something that will take her into the larger world that lies beyond her parents' sheep station. By contrast, her sixteen-year-old brother Tod is eager to follow in...