JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Katherine McCaughan, author of Natasha Lands Down Under
(High-Pitched Hum Publishing)
Natasha’s Russian family flees the Communist Revolution in China for a new beginning in Sydney, Australia. Unable to speak English, Natasha longs for her old life in Shanghai.
The problems of life under Japanese occupation and the following civil war seem tame compared to facing her new school with its inexplicable customs, different clothes and hairstyles. Having lost everything to communism, Natasha’s family, by virtue of being Russian, is now accused of being communist.
As Natasha begins to settle into Australia, a huge gap opens between the Russian ways at home and life in the outside community. Can she fit in at school and still be Russian at home with Mama, Papa and Babushka? Money is scarce and the family struggles with choices that have to be made.
Natasha clashes with her aunt and cousins and falls out with a popular girl at school. The first turbulent year in Australia strains even strong-willed Natasha’s confidence, but a catastrophic event makes her realize her own strength and her ability to make her new life a success.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Natasha Lands Down Under?
Katherine McCaughan: Like my heroine, Natasha, I was born in Shanghai, China, to Russian parents. We left China and moved to Australia after the Communist takeover. Continue reading 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Katherine McCaughan, author of Natasha Lands Down Under