ishmael and the return of the dugongs

 Ishmael joins Scobie, Prindabel, Bill and the Razzman for another year at St Daniel’s, and with his father’s old band reforming and Miss Tarango on a mission to teach love poetry, there’s music and romance in the air. But can Ishmael stand up to school bully, Barry Bagsley, overcome Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome and win the heart of Kelly Faulkner? Luckily, his best mate Razza – the self-appointed social worker for love – has a ‘wicked plan’.

What could possibly go wrong?


There are moments of sheer hilarity and the ending is a triumph. In Bauer’s second story featuring Ishmael Leseur, the dialogue rings true, the characters are finely drawn, and the story-line veers between wisdom and laugh-aloud fun – what more could you ask for? (Magpies)

The equally hilarious sequel to Don’t Call Me Ishmael! (Adelaide Advertiser)

Bauer has another winner with his incredibly entertaining and intelligent dialogue. This book won’t be put down till the last page. (Good Reading)

I’ll be looking forward to the next in the series. This book is a ‘must have’ for any teenager, avid reader or not. ( Yr 9 student review)



       Australian Edition                  German Edition                        Italian Edition


French Edition                                UK Edition


  • CBCA Older Readers NOTABLE BOOK

TEACHERS NOTES: Scholastic Australia

12 Responses to ishmael and the return of the dugongs

  1. Belleca 05 says:

    Hey I listened to your book as an audio book in german and first of all i want to praise your book, it is really well and expressively written.
    I was hoping you could tell me which Band played the songs in this book.
    Thank you for writing this wonderful books. I hope your doing well, goodbye


    • mgbauer says:

      Hi. Thank you for those lovely comments. So glad you enjoyed The Return of the Dugongs. The band is a German group called Gone Fishin’. When I was invited to the White Ravens Festival in Munich in 2009 I played a concert with them where we performed the songs from the novel and I talked about the book. Jens Wawrczeck the narrator of the German audio was also there doing readings. It was a great night. You can see some photos and some links to the band in this blog I wrote:
      Cheers Michael.


  2. Luca says:

    Hi Michael,
    hope you’re fine. I just wanted to tell/ask you some things.
    1) When you created Razz character, did you take inspiration from Dean Moriarty from “On the Road”? I mean, they are both amazingly crazy!
    2) Is The Hoops of Steel going to come out in Italy? (sorry if I ask you again)
    3) You’re saving my life. Yesterday I met the girl I fell head over heels with after two months I didn’t see her. I spent some awesome/terrible nights during these months thinking about her and reading Ishmael’s adventures in order to feel someone close to me. Yesterday I was going to mess everything up… do you remember when Sally was waiting for Razz to ask her to go out, but Razz did nothing? I was going to make the same mistake. We were at the restaurants with other guys and she had to go. I understood he wanted me to accompany her at the last minute. She wanted to stay alone with me for a while. Razz came to my mind just in time. Fiuuuu Michael, you saved me. You should see my Kelly, Michael. I feel just like Ishmael. Now I can appreciate your novel much better. Oh, and next week she wants to go out. Wish me good luck, I am excited and scared (about possible disappointments or friendzone) at the same. Yesterday I saw her smile and it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. She’s so tender and wonderful… Today it’s a bit rainy here, but not for me (stole your quote eheh). I hope it will be even more sunny for me next week. It’s wonderful.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you again.
    Bye from Orazio’s country!


    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Luca.

      1. I have read On the Road and think it’s great but no, I wasn’t thinking of DM when I wrote Razz.

      2. Sorry I can’t give you any good news on Hoops of Steel in Italy. It’s been quite a while since they published the second Ishmael there, so I can’t really see it happening. Maybe you could contact the Italian publishers and start a one-man campaign to get it released! Have you read the English version of Hoops of Steel?

      3. Wow, Luca, what can I say? I’m happy for you. Your ‘Kelly’ sounds lovely. Make sure you are to her. Whatever happens, as Herman Melville would say, just be ‘your own inexorable self’and I’m sure you’ll be fine. Cheers Michael.


  3. Anon says:

    Hi Mr Gerard Bauer,
    I was also in that group who you spoke to and was wondering if Kelly’s younger sister had a name as I have chosen to do her for my assessment. 🙂


    • mgbauer says:

      Kelly has a younger brother. His name is Marty. The character of Sally (in the second book) has a younger sister called Sophie.


  4. Erica S says:

    Hi! You just spoke at my school and it was hilarious and very entertaining! Thankyou so much for writing your books and I can’t wait to do my English assessment on the inner thoughts of either James, Bill or Kelly. (I’m leaning towards Kelly). In don’t call me Ishmael. I didn’t even know there were two more and I am going to start reading them tonight for sure! Thank you Michael.


    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Erica. Thanks so much for those kind comments. I had a great time talking to you guys yesterday. I hope you enjoy the sequels. And good luck with the assessment – although I’m sure you won’t need it! Cheers Michael


  5. Sandhra says:

    Thank you for coming to trinity college and shared ur experience with us


  6. Gabbie says:

    This is DEFINITELY my favourite book about Ishmael. I like the story and I’ve borrowed it from the library about a ZILLION times. My friends often have to tell me to be quiet and stop laughing. I like the series because:
    a) no vampires – YAY!!!
    b) it is much more interesting to read about funny things and laugh uncontrollably than sit crying over a constantly depressing plot
    c) I know the area of Ashgrove REALLY well
    d) They are exceptionally well written


    • mgbauer says:

      Hi Gabbie
      Thanks so much! Of course if you’d bought the book a ‘ZILLION TIMES’ I would be a BILLIONAIRE right now, but I don’t think that would have been too practical so I forgive you. So glad you enjoyed Dugongs. It contains some of my favourite bits from the Ishmael series. And I like your reasons for liking the series – a lot! Thanks for taking the time to send such a generous message.


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