Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia’s Desert Wilderness

In the center of Australia lies a strange desert wilderness called the Dead Heart. It is difficult to imagine anything can exist in such a forbidding place. But the Dead Heart contains amazing stories of adaptation and survival. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers like Charles Sturt and learn what the indigenous people of Australia have long known: not all is quite as it seems.

Mysterious Traveler

Already an old man, desert guide Issa has seen thousands of dawns. One particular morning, however, the desert reveals something new; something that changes his life. Tucked away in a narrow cave, shielded from a treacherous dust storm by a faithful camel, a baby girl lies wrapped in fine cotton and wearing half of a star medallion around her neck. Issa names the girl Mariama. As years pass, Issa loses his sight, and Mariama becomes his eyes. So Issa doesn’t see the pattern on the robes of a mysterious young traveler who comes through their village, or the medallion he wears.

The Scorpions of Zahir

Zagora Pym has always wanted to be a desert explorer. Her father, Charlie Pym, is exactly that, and she’s always loved to look over his maps of far away exotic places. One day she’d be trekking through the deserts of Africa and China, discovering hidden treasures from lost tribes. But Zagora would never have guessed that her chance to prove herself would come so soon. Like most adventures, it starts with a mysterious letter. The question is, how will this adventure end?

Zagora’s dreams of desert exploration are about to come ture, but are she and her father and brother being followed? And will they ever make it back to civilization?

Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan

Chengli is an orphaned errand boy who lives in Chang’an China in 630 A.D. His mother has died from illness and his father is presumed dead after disappearing into the desert when Chengli was a baby.Now thirteen, Chengli feels ready for independence. He is drawn to the desert, beckoned by the howling of strange winds and the hope of learning something about his father—who he was and how he died. Chengli joins the caravan to travel down the merchant route known as the Silk Road, but it is a dangerous life, as his father knew. The desert is harsh, and there are many bandits, particularly drawn to Chengli’s caravan because a princess, her servants, and royal guards are traveling with them.This story invites readers to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this fabled desert route.

Ranger’s Apprentice: Erak’s Ransom

What does it mean to earn the Silver Oakleaf? So few men have done so. For Will, a mere boy, that symbol of honor has long felt out of reach. Now, in the wake of Araluen’s uneasy truce with the raiding Skandians comes word that the Skandian leader has been captured by a dangerous desert tribe. The Rangers are sent to free him. But the desert is like nothing these warriors have seen before. Strangers in a strange land, they are brutalized by sandstorms, beaten by the unrelenting heat, tricked by one tribe that plays by its own rules, and surprisingly befriended by another. Like a desert mirage, nothing is as it seems. Yet one thing is constant: the bravery of the Rangers. In this red-hot adventure, winner of the Australian Book of the Year Award for Older Children, John Flanagan raises the stakes on the series that has already sold millions of copies worldwide.

Ocean Power: Poems From The Desert (Sun Tracks : An American Indian Literary Series, Vol 32)

The annual seasons and rhythms of the desert are a dance of clouds, wind, rain, and flood—water in it roles from bringer of food to destroyer of life. The critical importance of weather and climate to native desert peoples is reflected with grace and power in this personal collection of poems, the first written creative work by an individual in O’odham and a landmark in Native American literature.