An adventure story about courage, Katarina Stretton
March 02, 2022
I was told many times that “most people were gunners – gonna do this, gonna do that’. Every time I heard it, I became more determined to be a ‘do-er’. The fact that people thought I couldn’t do it made me more determined to prove to them that I could…”
Do you love books about adventure, discovery, and having the courage to chase your wildest dreams? Then this is the book for you!
Wildboy by Brando Yelavich is a gripping tale recounting how Yelavich himself, a gutsy 19-year-old from Auckland, walked all the way around the coast of New Zealand.
Yelavich set off for his seemingly impossible mission on 1 February, 2013. The walk had started off as just a far-flung idea from the back of Brando’s mind, but it eventually turned into reality as he walked hours each day, facing gruelling terrain and dangerous waters. He walked most of the way and used a kayak for the rest of his journey around the country. Along the way, Brando faced many challenges, and sometimes even felt like giving up, but thanks to all the support from his family, friends, and even some people that were following his journey on TV and social media, he kept going.
The walk ended up taking almost exactly 600 days on foot, and Brando arrived back at Cape Reinga on the 23rd of August, at exactly 3:45 pm, after going through at least one hundred pairs of tramping boots!
The author writes to inform you about his own amazing trip around the coastline of New Zealand, and all the big challenges he had to face during it. One of the most important messages in this book is that you should never give up on your dreams, and that anything is possible if you work hard enough for it.
When I read Wildboy, I felt like I could do anything that I wanted to do.
I think the author did well, as he really engaged me in his amazing adventure. I also found out a lot of information about New Zealand that I didn’t know before, such as the fact that 90 mile beach isn’t actually 90 miles long!
However I felt that he didn’t really add enough detail in some places, as I found it hard to imagine some of the places that he visited and the people that he met.
‘For the first time since I’d left Cape Reinga, I completely broke. I threw my bag on the ground, sat down and started to cry. Then I started screaming, ‘Why am I doing this?!’
Learning about some of the struggles that he had while on the walk, I realised that sometimes you may find things hard, but you should never give up! You should always get up the next day and keep on driving till you reach your goal.
This book included some amazing pictures of Brando Yelavich’s expedition.
Overall, I think that Wildboy is a really great book, and I really enjoyed reading it.
– Katarina is 12 years old and lives in Auckland.