Neridah McMullin / Astred Hicks
Walker Books Australia

A young girl with a tragic past and a rhinoceros facing life in captivity form an unlikely and magical bond after a fateful storm and a shipwreck bring them together.
A moving tale about love, connection and the healing power of friendship.


On a stormy night off the coast of southern Australia, a ship transporting a cargo of exotic animals tosses and turns in enormous seas. Rhino senses they are in grave danger. . .

Not far away, ten-year-old Evie and her grandfather shelter in their crumbling, once-grand old home. They know too well how deadly storms can be.
When all is calm, Evie treks over the dunes to the sea and makes a discovery that will change her life, and Rhino’s, forever.

Will the tragedies of their pasts finally be put to rest?


Judges’ Comments

Inspired by true events, Evie and Rhino is a moving and entertaining story about love, friendship, grief and how making connections can bring about change and healing. The characterisation is strong and builds as the story is told from the interchanging perspectives of Evie and Rhino. The small illustrations that indicated a change in perspective were subtle and refined, matching the style of the prose perfectly.
A real strength in the book is how the plot develops, and the story grows seamlessly across the characters. The author’s notes and historical details included provide background knowledge of the events.

Creative Responses