For a couple of years I've been trying to find a novel I read when I was in primary school, so I'm guessing it was published prior to the mid 1980's at a guess.
This novel was set somewhere in Australia, presumably in the NSW area, it featured a young boy who was the main protagonist in the story and an old man referred to simply as "old carz".
The boy lives in a small community which had survived a nuclear disaster of worldwide proportions and the old man doesn't live with the rest of the community as everyone thinks he's crazy or something, he tells the young boy about carz and how they traveled on things called roadz. (Book spelling used in description).
Eventually the boy runs away and goes exploring and ends up finding Taronga Zoo in the ruins of Sydney and found it is being run by survivors and they use the tigers to patrol the compound at night.
Anyway, I can't remember the name of the book or the author, I know it was written for younger readers or young adults even. I know it was published prior to at the very latest guess 1988. I know very little else other than what I've written here. Can anyone suggest what the book is called or the author? I'd really like to get a copy of this book.
Googling for "old carz" leads to The Pale Invaders by GR Crosher and GR Kesteven from 1974. The "first American edition" was in 1976 so I'm guessing the 1974 date is the Australian printing.
"The inhabitants of the secluded valley believe life has always been as they know it until strangers arrive who lend threatening reality to the tales of an elder about life before the devastating Upheaval."
May the road gangs never meet you. May the wind be fallout-free. May the sun shine through the ashes, hot rain not fall on thee. And until we meet again, may no one hold your flesh in the palm of their hand.
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