Author(s): Garry Disher
Twelve-year-old Paul is conscious of the troubled spirits of the people about him, especially his father. Paul is a solitary boy, interested in music. He has few friends because he lives on a farm. The town kids and the teacher ignore him or tease him.
One day Paul encounters a tramp, Eric the Red, camped on the farm. Eric shows him how to make a flute from bamboo. Paul's mother is sympathetic, but Paul knows that he can't tell his father what he's doing. His teacher later confiscates the flute before he can finish it, but he sets out to make another, in secret.
Meanwhile, the district is on the lookout for Eric the Red, accusing him of sheep stealing. Will Paul have the courage to stand up for him, revealing his link with Eric?
First published in 1992, THE BAMBOO FLUTE was Garry Disher's first novel for children. It is an evocative story of hardship, hope, respect and recognition set during the Depression.