It had an orange cover….

This is the sentence reference librarians dread. “It had an orange cover, with a picture of a boy. And it was about this thick…” Now it’s my turn.

I have been plagued the last few days, trying to identify a book I read years ago in my teacher-librarian course at Melbourne CAE/Uni of Melb. It all started with a trend on Twitter – #booksthatchangedmylife.

The book in question was a sci-fic young adult title, which I read for an assignment on Fiction readers’ advising. The aim behind the assignment was to read outside your normal field of vision, which sci-fi was in those days. I greatly enjoyed the book, and always remembered it.

Now I can find no trace of book which is extremely FRUSTRATING!!!

From memory (which I admit is dim), the title was The Heretic or The Heresy, or something along that line.

The storyline in brief: a young boy/teenager lives in a rural community in a future time. The government/church has decreed there must be no use of water from rivers as the water is poisoned. As teenagers are want to do, the young boy questions the validity of the statement and the way in which he and his family must live. He drinks the water. He is shuned by his community and so sets forth to determine the truth. Finally (some chapters later) he discovers the truth. The Government/Church has instigated lies centuries back re the poisoning of the water – the planet’s  (Earth’s???) water supply is severely compromised, and lies had been determined the best means to control usage. The young boy eventually aligns with the Government/Church to spread the lies, as he acknowledges the need to save the world.

The book would have been written pre 1985, and I think it may have been an American writer.

As the storyline focuses on the scarcity of water and is sci-fi, many have suggested it may be the Dune series. It is definitely not.

Not only have I searched for the last few days, I have enlisted colleagues. (What else are reference librarians there for??)

No luck. If you have any idea what I’m talking about – please let me know. In the meantime, I shall ignore all future trends on Twitter – they are too exhausting!


9 thoughts on “It had an orange cover….

  1. LOL! I’m at Unimelb and used to manage ERC shelves. We haven’t weeded in years from there so probably still there. Do you remember if it was teenage or junior fiction? Could do a walk through for orange ….

    • I’ve been trying to remember whether I got it from the ERC or from the lecturer, and who the lecturer was for that unit… they probably still have it! Geez, old age is crummy. Now wishing I’d kept my uni stuff. If only we’d had PCs then, it would have all been saved on a disc somewhere. And I have to add – not sure if it was an orange book (he he he). At this stage, I’m not sure what my name is……

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