Seventy-Two Derwents


Cate Kennedy

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Seventy-Two Derwents can help.

Seventy-Two Derwents Characters


A young Australian girl in Grade 6, Tyler is the protagonist and narrator of the story, which is framed as a series of entries in her journal. She has a conflicted relationship with her motherread analysis of Tyler


Ellie is Tyler’s older sister, and one of the few sources of security and stability in her life. She is several years older than Tyler, and works part-time at Subway after school in order… read analysis of Ellie

Tyler and Ellie’s Mother

An ambiguous and complicated figure, Tyler and Ellie’s mother dominates a great deal of her daughters’ lives. Ellie and Tyler are the youngest of her five children; earlier, she had two boys, Zac and… read analysis of Tyler and Ellie’s Mother


The antagonist of the story and Tyler’s mother’s boyfriend. He has a criminal record, which Tyler’s mother does not explain, and is currently on parole. He begins exhibiting predatory behavior towards Tyler immediately after… read analysis of Shane

Mrs Carlyle

Tyler’s Grade 6 school teacher, who is gentle and kind. Tyler feels particularly close to her, treating her as both a source of stable authority and a role model. She gives Tyler the journal… read analysis of Mrs Carlyle
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Tyler and Ellie’s older brother. Ellie tells Tyler that he ran away from their mother with his brother Dylan after both had accumulated a criminal record. They then attempted to find their father, who… read analysis of Zac

Aunty Jacinta

Jacinta is Tyler’s aunt on her mother’s side. She appears only briefly in the story, and Tyler does not have much contact with her outside of the holidays; however, Tyler seems to imagine… read analysis of Aunty Jacinta

Tyler’s Grandmother

Tyler’s grandmother on her mother’s side. Tyler’s mother resents her for favoring Jacinta throughout their childhood, and suspects her or Jacinta of having reported her to Child Services. Tyler’s grandmother takes Tyler shopping… read analysis of Tyler’s Grandmother
Minor Characters
Tyler’s closest friend in her class. She never appears in person in the story, but Tyler wishes she could have her over to her house. She owns a set of the Derwent pencils which Tyler wants so badly.