The Urban Escapees

Author: Susan Ramage

Illustrator: Nettie Lodge


A family of possums’ lives and habitat are threatened by urban creep. What will happen to them? Where will they go?

Can Louis, the boy who lives in the house at the top of the possums’ garden, save them before it’s too late?

An enchanting story of the relationship between a wildlife-loving boy and a Brushtail possum family. The Urban Escapees is a powerful story of our times: about increasing urbanisation and its impact on the natural world.

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Categories: , Tags: , , , ISBN: 978-0-9924860-9-9

There was a great old mulberry tree and some sturdy native trees next door to my family home. Sadly, the trees disappeared when the neighbour’s house was torn down to make way for a block of units.

Fond childhood memories of hunting for mulberries and playing hide-and-seek came flooding back when I read Susan Ramage’s poignant tale, The Urban Escapees, about a suburban boy’s bid to rescue a family of Brushtail possums threatened by urban development at the bottom of his garden.

People need a place to live, but so do the birds and bees that pollinate our lives and the flora that balances our environment and helps keep our air clean.

Through powerful story telling Susan Ramage has created a heart-warming tale that brings the big issues of urban creep and the subsequent destruction of our native flora and fauna into sharp focus.  She makes the complex dilemma of development versus diversity instantly accessible and understandable to young readers by earthing the issue in a simple grass-roots tale. You will instantly fall in love with the characters who are beautifully brought to life by Nettie Lodge’s illustrations.

“Educational and entertaining, thoughtful and fun.”

“In this delightful story, young readers enter the life of the Brushtail family. Possum Way is a joyful haven of bush and colour, where the possums live peacefully. But when bulldozers and cranes arrive, the Brushtails have to find a new home, and Louis, the boy who lives in the house at the top of the garden, needs to think quickly and come up with a plan. Can Louis save the Brushtails? The Urban Escapees invites questions about urbanisation and its impact on nature.”

Susan Ramage

Susan Ramage is a graduate of the University of New South Wales and an award-winning author who lives in Sydney. Her love of nature is celebrated in The Urban Escapees, her second book, where the story of Benjamin Brushtail and his family draws attention to the need for urban planning that is considerate and compassionate of the natural environment, including both wildlife and humans. Susan’s first book, Kokoda Secret (ISBN 9780646913834) is a ground-breaking historical work which reveals, for the first time, a significant Australian victory on the Kokoda Trail during the Second World war.

Nettie Lodge

For the past twenty years, Nettie Lodge has been writing and illustrating children’s books, including Bird, published by ABC Books which won a CBCA Notable Book Merit award. Her stories and illustrations largely reflect the plight and mishaps of animals. Her most recent major solo exhibition was based on the poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge and held at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum.

She lives and paints in her studio on Scotland island in Pittwater, north of Sydney and is a part time lecturer for Torrens University at the Billy Blue College of Visual Communication.