The Samantha Steadman Eco-Warrior series:


(details below)

Fault Lines (now out!) 

The eco-warriors are back! 

Samantha Steadman and her friends are now in Grade 10 at Clifford House boarding school but this year, cracks are beginning to appear in their friendships, romances and their belief in themselves. When Samantha joins ecological activists to block fracking in the Karoo, she expects that her best friends will be right alongside her in the fight. But Nomusa takes a very different view of the controversial issue and Jessie, under the influence of a glamorous new girl at the school, is too obsessed with her weight and appearance to care about ecology.

 Samantha feels very alone as she tries to deal with pressure from boys, school and her Poison Dwarf of a science teacher, all while uncovering a personal mystery from the past and struggling to save the Karoo – as well as her friendships – from splitting down their fault lines.

Fault Lines is the winner of the 2018 Percy Fitzpatrick Award for Youth Literature and the MAHLA Award (Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Awards) in 2016.

Paperback version: Loot     Exclusives     Takealot

South Africa: Love Books (Melville, Johannesburg)    Exclusive Books     Reader's Warehouse

(If they don't have it, please ask them to order, the ISBN is: 9781485304227)

Rock Steady

Samantha Steadman, and her best friends smart-mouthed Jessie Delaney and politician’s daughter Nomusa Gule, are back at boarding school, in grade 9, and they are up against a whole new set of challenges. Their creepy new Science teacher – the Poison Dwarf - takes delight in tormenting Sam, and she’s started counting and checking everything in a way that has her friends worried about her sanity. Add to that Sam’s determination to uncover and stop the illegal trade in San rock art, a blossoming new romance (or two), and a dangerous survival competition in the mountains which will endanger the trio’s lives, and Sam will need all her wits and courage to stand steady.

The eco-warriors are back in this funny, exciting sequel to Turtle Walk (which can also be read as a stand-alone book).. This time they aim to save the country’s invaluable rock art heritage, but along the way, they will discover that there are other things worth taking a stand for.

 Publisher:   Protea Boekhuis ISBN:  978-1-86919-903-6

Now available at good book stores and online (check the LINKS section for links to online stores, such as


Turtle Walk

When Samantha Steadman starts high school at a boarding school in the Ukahlamba Drakensberg mountains, little does she know that she will soon be engaged in an ecological war for the survival of the endangered leatherback turtle. Samantha and her friends - rich and sassy Jessie Delaney, and cabinet minister’s daughter Nomusa Gule – take the fight from the classroom to the open seas. Their adventures range from dangerous night-time skirmishes with illegal fishermen, to crazy antics for television cameras.

Back at school, they have to deal with romances and heartbreaks, a joint musical production with the neighbouring boys’ school, encounters with an eccentric bunch of teachers, conflicts with parents and skirmishes with bitter rivals. Together they will need to find the strength to cope, and the hope that comes from knowing that individuals can make a difference.

Along the way, there are also romances, rivals and a whole lot of growing up to do!

The book is suitable for readers in the senior primary and junior high school age group.

Now available at good book stores and online - the "Links" section on this site will take you to online book stores, such as

Reviews: "Macgregor has given her story truckloads of character and charisma". (Tshepo Tshabalala, The Star Tonight, 6/10/2011).

Publisher:   Protea Boekhuis ISBN:  978-1-86919-432-1

The sequel, Rock Steady, is now out.



This may well be my favourite review of all time. It's by teen reader Jenna-Laine Fuller and you can read the full review here at PUKU - which is an amazing non-profit organisation doing wonderful work for children's literacy, literature and education in Southern Africa. Check out their site here or follow them on Twitter @PukuBooks. 

 "Turtle Walk inspires young reader

Jenna-Laine Fuller reviews this South African novel that is a firm favourite amongst local readers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

In the beginning the story is interesting and there is a lot of attention to detail, making me want to read more. (In fact, I so loved the way the author described the surroundings and scenery that I even drew a picture of the mountains and trees.)

While a serious crime takes place, there is also teenage humour and romance and the ending is beautiful, leaving the reader in wonder and suspense.

Turtle Walk is a book that shows you how to react to situations, such as peer pressure, but it also teaches children how important other living creatures are to our world. Everything has a purpose. When I finished the last page I was a little sad that the book had ended, but happy too, because I felt as though I had learnt something really important. You see, anything is possible.

I didn’t want to put the book down and I loved knowing that there was something to look forward to when I came home from school.

Everyone will enjoy this story, but I highly recommend it to Teens who love animals, romance novels and mysteries. I can’t wait to read the next book!"

Thank you Jenna-Laine! I can't wait for you to read Rock Steady!


BookChat's "Recommended" Review of Rock Steady:

This follows on from Turtle Walk. We have the same trio of heroines, now in their second year at Clifford House Private School for Girls. In the grand tradition of school stories, we have nice and nasty staff, a fancy dress dance, moments of ‘involvement’ with the nearby boys’ school, and agonies of detention. As an extra theme, our trio learn about rock art in the Drakensberg – and then about the increasing theft of rock art nationally. So it is no great surprise when baddies are unmasked during an Orienteering Competition in the mountains. Dashing adventure + knowledge of something more lasting and noble. (The hateful Mr Delmonico, however, remains on the staff and one has a feeling that his come-uppance is being saved for the next volume.) In its genre, splendidly written and full of verve, character and enterprise.

(Jay Heale, 2013) BookChat 


Book Reviews of TURTLE WALK by Joanne Macgregor (Protea Book House 2011)

"If you're a parent with kids aged between the ages of 13 - 15 and are looking for a good, clean, fun read with an important message to boot, then South African author, Joanne MacGregor's book, Turtle Walk is one read you'll want to consider.

The novel introduces us to three feisty heroines who not only know what they want out of life, but are sweet, mischievous and fun-loving girls with a sense of adventure ; knowing just how to have fun without losing sight of each of their individual goals.   

They're the kind of girls who possess the essence of what girls their age should be like: work hard, make time for friends, and get involved in a worthwhile project that promotes the importance of looking after our environment...

Along the way, we discover that once these girls have found a cause to fight for, they battle with everything ounce of fibre within.

They're brave and gutsy (and as one scene would prove) - maybe a little too gutsy; but the fact that these girls would risk everything to advocate on behalf of the endangered animals spoke volumes about just how much character Samantha, Nomusa and Jessie possess.

Highly readable and filled with quips that will be sure to bring a smile to your face, Turtle Walk is the kind of book you'd want your teens to read."

Tammy February, (News24), 27 Jan 2012

Read the full review here: 


"Although the story of a 14-year-old girl from a humble background in her first year at an expensive all-girl boarding school is not uncommon, Macgregor has given her story truckloads of character and charisma.

As Grade 8 pupil Samantha Steadman manoevres through her first year at a boarding school in the Ukahlamba Drakensberg mountains, you are introduced to her roommates and friends, Nomusa Gule and Jessie Delaney, and their many adventures.

Along with the never-ending humour and intrigue, the spice to the story comes in the form of Cindy Atkins, who has a seemingly unbidden but zealous dislike for Samantha, in particular, and her crew. Samantha is the cautious yet strong-willed genius of the group. Nomusa is the athletic one, who is also quite intelligent. Jessie Delaney, on the other hand, is mischievous, thinks with her heart and has lots of guts.

You witness a deep bond form among the trio, their personas rubbing off on each other and on you, the reader.

When Jessie visits the Steadmans' holiday cabin in the Isimangalison Marine Reserve on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal, she sees, for the first time, a leatherback turtle laying her eggs. It is a sight Samantha and her family are all too familiar with. They also know of the fisherman's nets that pose a threat to the well-being of the species.

When the Steadmans visit the cabin later that year, this time with Jessie and NOmusa, they discover a dreadful sight on the nearby shore. The girls then decide, without Mr Steadman's knowledge, to take matters into their own hands, find the people who are responsible and bring them to justice. A layer of suspense is added to Macgregor's entertaining prose, the story taking on a new complexion that makes you admire the protagonists even more.

This is a feel-good book that does not get boring. It's to be read and enjoyed on any day."

- Tshepo Tshabalala (in Pretoria News, 31 October 2011)


"How encouraging to see that we can still publish a book that children can enjoy! Pure escapism into a world of a mythical girls boarding school – all the dorm room naughtiness, mockery of teachers, heart-ache of Valentine’s Day – there is a boys school nearby – and the almost obligatory school play, in this case The Sound of Music. No attempt at social responsibility, although a fair amount of environmental responsibility towards the end as our heroic trio set out to save turtles and ban long line fishing. At upper primary level, an amusing school/home adventure story set in KZN."
J Rating * by Jay Heale (read the full review at


"The first year of high school is a big step for most people. Although the story of a 14-year-old girl from a humble background in her first year at an expensive all-girl boarding school is not uncommon, Macgregor has given her story truckloads of character and charisma."

- Tshepo Tshabalala (read the full review in The Star Tonight, 6 Oct 2011)

Harry on the Couch:

A Psychologist's reading of Harry Potter

Oh Yes, I did!

Did you know that dementors are a metaphor for depression? That boggarts symbolise anxiety? That the Ron-Harry-Hermione, and Voldemort-Harry-Dumbledore triads can be analysed in terms of the id-ego-superego concepts of Freudian theory?

This is an easy and entertaining paper in the compendium of academic papers presented at Phoenix Rising, A Harry Potter conference held in New Orleans in 2007. The conference featured educational and academic programming presented by scholars, teachers, business and industry professionals, artists, librarians, fans, and others with an interest in the Harry Potter novels, films, and phenomenon. 

You can have a peep, or order here: