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Six Seconds: The Newcastle Earthquake is the fortieth book in the My Australian Story series. It was published on March 1, 2021. The book is the second book in the series written by Alan Sunderland after 2006's Refugee. It was followed by The Battle for Victoria Street by Gabiann Marin.


Book description[]

"I could hardly see. There was dust and smoke everywhere. I was falling, sliding down into a gap that had opened up between parts of the collapsed building. It was dark and silent. All I could hear was the sound of my own breathing, and my beating heart thumping in my ears.
Then I heard the cry again: the cry for help.

Growing up by the beach in Newcastle in 1989 means footy, sandcastle competitions and school. Michael's mum is a journalist and his small world gets bigger as he starts to pay attention to the news. His interest turns into anxiety and obsession as Michael begins to see the world as a dangerous place that is fast collapsing around him. When the Berlin Wall comes down, most see it as a sign of change and freedom but Michael isn't convinced.
But when an earthquake hits hos home town, Michael discovers that the worst that can happen is not always as bad as your fears.



Main article: List of Six Seconds characters
  • Michael O'Keefe


Main article: Alan Sunderland

Alan Sunderland is an author and broadcast journalist. He worked for ABC and SBS for a combined forty years. Six Seconds is Sunderland's second book for My Australian Story after 2006's Refugee. Sunderland was approached by Scholastic to write Six Seconds and readily agreed to the opportunity. He spent several months traveling back and forth to Newcastle for research.[2]




See also[]

File:Six Seconds Teacher's Notes.pdf

My Australian Story

A Banner Bold | Plagues and Federation | A Tale of Two Families | Surviving Sydney Cove | The Rum Rebellion
The Yankee Whaler | A Different Sort of Real | Who Am I? | On Board the Boussole | The Bombing of Darwin
Fords and Flying Machines | Snowy | Riding with Thunderbolt | Our Don Bradman | A Marathon of Her Own
Our Enemy, My Friend

1st relaunch

New Gold Mountain | Outback | Cyclone Tracy | Refugee | The Melting Pot | Archer's Melbourne Cup
Claw of the Dragon | Atomic Testing

2nd relaunch

The Hunt for Ned Kelly | The Phar Lap Mystery | My Father's War | Sydney Harbour Bridge | Heroes of Tobruk
Escape from Cockatoo Island | Gallipoli | Kokoda | Convict Girl | Vietnam

3rd relaunch

Black Sunday | Our Race for Reconciliation | Bushfire | Rebellion at Eureka | Castle Hill Rebellion | Six Seconds
The Battle for Victoria Street

External links[]