A Rite Of Passage - A quick review

Review by Venturer Scout James Brown, Georges River Unit, Sydney, Australia

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  1. When Christopher Holcroft gives you a copy of his book “A Rite of Passage” he grasps your hand firmly, looks you in the eye and says “always live the adventure.” Holcroft as a Venturer Scout Leader and as a colonel in the Australian Army Reserve is a person who has experienced his own share of adventure in his life. In “A Rite of Passage” Holcroft draws from his experiences and masterfully engages the reader in a classic adventure story that provides surprise after surprise as the plot unfolds. “A Rite of Passage” challenges young adolescents to put themselves in the characters shoes as they face adversity and challenges the reader to ask themselves whether they would have acted the way the characters had done. A Rite of Passage is set in a time when Sydney is rife with bikie gangs and a growing antagonism between the “Ravens” and the “Eagles” threatens to open up into an all out turf war. At the same time that the bikie gangs are preparing for war a young group of Venturer Scouts are planning exciting activities including a rather eloquent formal McDonald’s night out with the local Ranger Guides. But as the book progresses the two stories begin to converge as the Ravens look for an appropriate place to take on the Eagles. They find Cook Island, an abandoned fort that is coincidentally located right next to a dive site popular with the Venturer Scouts. On the day of the battle the Venturer Scouts, caught in the middle, are challenged to perform acts of great daring and bravery to save the Ranger guides, trapped in the middle of the firefight. This is the climax of the book and rightly so. Through the use of highly descriptive imagery, Holcroft paints the scene with great detail and allows for a genuine emotional response from the reader. In conclusion “A Rite of Passage” is an excellent book for young adolescents both boys and girls. I, myself a Venturer Scout thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel and often found myself glued to my chair as I read in anticipation as the novel came to its thrilling climax.
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