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Clancy of the Outback

These books will engage and entertain children!

Welcome to the Clancy of the Outback series!

Eleven-year-old Clancy has been thrust into life out woop-woop. These are the stories of his outback adventures at his uncle’s sheep station, Overflow Station. 

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City Slicker

This book introduces Clancy and the rest of the gang, but mainly Little Bill, the daughter of the manager of The Overflow. Little Bill undertakes to help Clancy learn a few things about how to be a country boy. Clancy finds Little Bill condescending and fights her offers of help. However, when the opportunity to learn to drive in an old farm ute arises, Clancy is all ready to go. But is he ready? Apparently not.

Chookshed Blues

Clancy’s dad decides to invest in some chooks and this involves feverish building activity involving a chookshed, as well as a visit to the market to buy chickens. The chookshed needs to be a strong structure to ensure that foxes can’t get to the chickens or their eggs. Clancy’s dad isn’t much of a builder, which isn’t surprising given he’s just come from the city. It turns out he’s also not much good at buying chickens.

Roadkill Rescue

The school bus hits a mother kangaroo just outside the gate to the Overflow station. Little Bill and Clancy save the joey in the mother’s pouch. They then have to set about looking after it and this turns out to be much more complex than the city family is used to. Not only that, but Big Bill, the station manager, is planning a cull of kangaroos on Overflow Station. How will Clancy and Little Bill handle this contradiction?

Shearing Time

This is really a story about food and cooking for a large group of hungry workers. The cook in the shearing shed is a very important person and at one stage it seems that Clancy’s mum might have to do the cooking. At the last minute she’s saved when an unseasonal storm comes and drenches all the sheep. The shearers fear a flood and leave. When they return Mum is much happier about the cooking job.

Feral Frenzy

Well, Mum is still trying to work out how to do her thing on Overfl ow Station and I guess we’ve all still got a lot to learn. But who would have thought that feral pigs would get into her precious vegg ie garden? I thought it was pretty exciting at the time. Mum, not so much!

Horse Play

Little Bill’s insisted on turning me into a country boy since day one, and she reckoned that meant I had to learn to ride a horse. How hard can that be? I thought. Then she turned up on her humungous bay horse and I began to wonder… I felt a bit better when she said she’d get a small pony for me to learn on, until I saw the tiny, mean-looking Shetland pony she’d picked. Just getting onto it was hard enough, but in the end, that pony and I saved the day!

Paddock Bomb

When Dad’s old car had to be taken off the road, Little Bill decided it could be my ‘paddock bomb’. Meaning I was going to drive it around the farm. Meaning she was going to teach me to drive. She made me sit in a baby booster seat so I could see over the steering wheel, and that was just the start of my humiliation!

Cheesy Business’

Join Clancy and Little Billy on a cheesy adventure. Mum decides to set up a new business on the Overflow. Big Bill calls it ‘diversification’. But getting a pregnant cow and making cheese proves to be much more than curds and whey. After much trial and tribulation, and with the help of our two heroes, Mum’s cheese is a great success – it’s even ‘gouda nuff to eat’!

Houseboat Hazards

Join Clancy and Little Bill on this fishy adventure. When Mum’s sister, Aunty Joan, visits from the big smoke with her two children the scene is set for a competition between the city slickers and Little Bill and Clancy. But when Dad organises a houseboat for a day out on the river, disaster strikes. Could it be the ghost of Uncle Buck at work?

Welcome to the Outback

Three months ago, my life changed in a way that I never dreamed possible. It was a Friday and it was the thirteenth day of the month, which is supposed to be unlucky for some. And that Friday was definitely unlucky for my Uncle Buck.

Uncle Buck owned a HUGE sheep station way out woop-woop, and he had been mustering sheep all day when a wild storm struck. Sadly for Uncle Buck, he was hit by lightning and sizzled like a sausage on a very hot barbecue.

When we received the news, Mum and Dad were VERY, VERY sad, but that all changed a few weeks later when we got an unexpected call from Uncle Buck’s lawyer. It turns out that Uncle Buck had left his sheep station to my family in his will. Mum and Dad’s tears turned to smiles – suddenly we owned a sheep station in outback Australia!

Two days later, we had a family meeting to decide what we were going to do. It was decided by two votes to one that we were leaving our city home and moving to the outback. (You can probably guess who was the ‘one’.)

Faster than I could wave goodbye to my city friends, Mum and Dad packed up and headed off to Overflow Station, dragging me along with them.

My name is Clancy, I’m eleven years old and these are the stories of my outback adventures.

Sample pages from City Slicker
Sample pages from Shearing Time

Meet the Creators

Phil Kettle

Phil spends a lot of time in schools in country Australia, and that’s where he came up with the concept of Clancy of the Outback. There were few books available for students in country schools that talked about their lives and the reality they were experiencing.

Bob Andersen

Bob Andersen is a writer and publisher. He has worked with Phil Kettle on a number of projects, and has been able to bring his own experience of rural life and living to the Clancy stories.

Shane McGowan

Shane begins his work on any project by reading the story and imagining the characters and what is required to give shape to the written text. He spends a lot of time sketching a scene (these are called roughs) before committing to the final illustration.

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