Author(s): Bruce Gannaway
A thrilling action adventure set in wartime Australia, The Last Eaglehawk is the winner of the National Seniors Literary Prize for 2014. On a cold Brisbane morning in 1997, seven-year-old Benjamin Taylor is happy to stay indoors and fly jet fighters in the virtual world. For his grandfather, however, the computer game triggers a childhood memory he's kept hidden all these years . . . An aircraft cockpit . . . A Japanese plane in the crosshairs . . . A terrible explosion . . . It's 1942, and aviation designer Richard Gannon is coming to terms with the rejection of his prototype fighter plane, The Eaglehawk, when news comes through that Darwin has been bombed by the Japanese. The Australian Government can no longer afford to drag their feet and Air Commodore Wilfred Benham has a risky, and decidedly controversial, proposal to make. Richard's plane will be put into production - but at only half the size. And it will be children, recruited from streets and orphanages across Australia, who will become its fighter pilots. The Last Eaglehawk is an exciting story of triumph and tragedy, of audacious wartime operations and the courageous children who take to the skies to defend their land.