Pa Joe’s Place by Clancy Tucker is sweet story that speaks volumes. At only 8 years old, and with her father dying Boo Nawigamune is sent to live at Pa Joe’s Place, an orphanage far away from her parents and seven siblings. During her journey she survives a train derailment,a snake bite, tsunami and a fire. 

Never before have I cried my way through a book like I did with Pa Joe’s Place. I cannot remember ever having cried so early in a book with the tears flowing at only chapter three. Within Pa Joe’s Place Clancy Tucker has created a book that moves you page by page. At times I felt that what Boo went through in such a short time was a little unbelievable but at the same time it sat true in my heart and it moved me. I could not do anything but love little Boo. Her strength and compassion as she travels 1700 kilometres from her home to live in an orphanage is inspiring. At such a young age this gifted girl teaches us so much. 

Pa Joe’s Place is an exceptional novel that is not often seen. It is one of those gems that leaves you reeling with emotions days, weeks, months and years after you have read it. Still many months after I shed my last tear Pa Joe’s Place sits within my heart. As I write this my heart flutters and my stomach feels empty as I vividly recall the journey I traveled with Boo. I feel the loss of Boo as though she was a child of my own. 

Pa Joe’s Place is a cultural journey through Thailand were the reader meets the people, the culture and the environment. It educates and it inspires. I cannot speak words powerful enough to do the content of Pa Joe’s Place justice nor the spiritual journey that it takes you on. Pa Joe’s Place gave me hope. It made me smile and it inspired me to be the best person I could be. 

In his author’s notes Clancy Tucker writes:

I met Boo Nawigamune in 1973 when I was dealing with the death of a very close friend. Boo reached out and we became the closest of friends. To this day, she is still the most gifted and compassionate child I’ve ever met. I was the lucky one. Our world would be a far better place had she lived longer. Sadly, Boo died of leukaemia, but she was happy and focused until the end - a magnificent kid. What you saw was what you got - pure sunshine. 

Within Pa Joe’s Place Clancy Tucker does Boo proud. There could be no better tribute to a little girl with a pure heart of gold.  The deep love, understanding and friendship that Boo and Clancy had shines throughout Pa Joe’s Place

I will continue to carry Boo Nawigamune with me in my heart as though I knew her personally. When times are tough I will remember the journey of a little girl that showed so much strength and courage. I smile as I think of her name. I share the kindness toward others on behalf of Boo, a little girl who’s short time on earth touched so many.

Boo wanted to change lives and today she continues to do so through the writing of Clancy Tucker

I have never read anything as uniquely BRILLIANT as 'Pa Joe's Place'. I could not put the book down - so magnificently expressed. Very short sentences made it more catapulting , emphasizing the 'other countries' comparisons / differences. I will never be the same person.

Leisa, Victoria, Australia

Notice found in our regional newspaper, written by a lady who has suffered from cancer for the past five years. It was a letter to the editor:


CONGRATULATIONS to our own local author, Clancy Tucker, on the truly inspiring story of Pa Joe's Place. Fantastic reading. Love your work, Clancy.

Vicky Sheridan, Alexandra, Australia

Wow, what an amazing story. Loved every word of it. Last weekend my husband and I spent lots of time with our six grandkids, and I spent more time than ever actually observing and listening to everything they said. Why? Well, it was as a result of reading Pa Joe's Place.Thank you for the wake-up call. You are an inspiring writer. Keep writing and I will continue to read all of your work and spread the word. 

You certainly have a gift, Clancy.

Louise Davis
Melbourne, Australia.

All my life I have never cried much, but reading your wonderful story had me very close, with moist eyes and several lumps in my throat. I just couldn't put it down. I got so involved in the story that I was there, actually picturing all you were describing in vivid detail and colour. A truly magnificent work of art and feeling.  Maybe we can attempt a movie once 'Gunnedah Hero' is completed. It is worth the Deep Love and Tenderness you, the author, generated from out of your mind. It came from you, Clancy Tucker. I am privileged to know you.

There is another great reason to admire the person you are. You have also sold me on Thailand. I will have to get there, a place I knew so little about before I read your book. No wonder you want to go and live there.

John Campbell

Australian Film Maker

Greetings Clancy.

Just finished reading Pa Joe's Place.

What a magnificent wordsmith and author you are. The book made my eyes well up a few times, and the end had me in denial. The story is superb, sensitive, inspiring, touching, teaching...wonderful. You have handled the issues of youth, poverty, family, dignity, courage, homelessness, cultural diversity, religious diversity, death, and so many others beautifully. The book is an excellent successor to Gunnedah Hero, itself a brilliant peace of sensitive didactic writing. 

Well done, Clancy. Love ya work...which now having read both books is an expression that will take on new meaning. Another book everyone should read, with a special message of strength and hope for the young. Thank you my friend. I will now hand it directly to my 18 year old daughter.


Paul S. Kouris
Inventor Proprietor and Licensor
The Kouris Centri Turbine
Generator (KCT)

“Would you like to be taken away to a dreamy place, where people are gentle, hard-working and beautiful?  This is the story of ‘Boo’, a little girl, who, like a saint, creates bliss for everybody she comes in contact with.

Only a seven year-old Thai girl, her personal adversities cannot affect her pure soul and with the help of Pa Jo, his many dedicated friends, and a very strong Aussie connection, she makes her community of children and adults prosper as her ‘Thank you’ for accepting her.

Until a dreadful affliction intervenes in her saintly work.

The story is narrated by ‘Boo’ herself, through her own eyes, guiding you gently through a different culture. The land is tranquil and beautiful, with her soul of a seven year-old seeing everything in terms of spiritual  intervention and destiny.

This book is another literary masterpiece, crafted by the outstanding Australian writer Clancy Tucker. Since he knows personally ‘Boo’ and the famous ‘Pa Jo’, a Jesuit priest, he brings immediacy into this fascinating narration.

This book draws the reader into another, gentler, world; the ugly knot of our civilisation dissolves, gentle bliss and divinity.”

Peter Frederick, Author, Australia

Pa Joe’s Place by Clancy Tucker (Clancy Tucker Publishing)

PB RRP $25.00 plus postage E-Book $2.99

ISBN 9780646572208

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Boo is a Thai girl, the youngest of seven children and seven years old. Extremely bright, courageous, optimistic and mature in her outlook, she always sees the best in every person and situation. Accepting of her circumstances, she obediently leaves her family, home, best friend and dying father, and sets out on a journey over 1,000 kilometres to Songkhla in the south, to be cared for and educated by Jesuit priest Pa Joe along with his other 155 orphans.

She finds another father, a new family and friends, and the opportunity to become something wonderful and experiences the greatest adventure of her life, which includes helping survivors of a train wreck, catching criminals, and meeting strangers whose lives she touches in significant ways.

This deeply moving story is inspired by and dedicated to real people: Boo Nawigamune, and Father Joe Carey who for 50 years, against great odds and with the help of many compassionate and generous people, cared for children he found on the streets of Thailand.  

Clancy Tucker has mapped out a superb social, cultural, and geographical picture of Thailand, and used it as background to his story. Tucker’s intimate knowledge of the country and the people gives an added richness and realism to every page of a story filled with inspiration and love.

"I just finished your book. What a beautiful story, well told and very moving. That 8 year-old is a treasure and I couldn't help but to laugh and cry at her imagination and the episodes she got involved.

Thanks, Clancy, for a wonderful book that kept me on my toes. I was so sorry that the story ended. I wanted to continue reading forever. I also learned about different cultures, words, mores and foods and even about fish. I recommended wholeheartedly to friends and families to get it and read it. There's much to learn.

Big congratulations."

 Suni Paz - Singer, Songwriter, Author, Poet, Educator

Hi Clancy,
I just finished reading your book, omg it was truly amazing, I have never cried so much while reading and also smiled so much. Thank you. I would recommend your book to all ages … I will be spreading the word about your book as it should be a best seller ... Thanx for the good read Clancy even though I still have a huge lump in my throat.  Boo & Pa Joe will stay in my memory forever. It  is a story I would recommend for anyone to read.
Love ya work!!!! 
Debra Baldwinson, Victoria, Australia.

“I am delighted to inform you that I have just finished reading PJP, and I am really moved. Boo seems like an extraordinary girl. It is a moving and inspiring story which can be an inspiration for so many people, young and old, regardless of their race or religion. I can't put it any other way but to say "Love your work, Khun Clancy."

Charkrieno​rrathip Sevikul
Counsellor & Consul, Royal Thai Embassy, Tehran.

"This book is a heart-warming novel based on a true story. It traces the journey of a poor Thai girl whose family reluctantly sends her away to give her the best chance for a good education. It is the story of Boo who travels by rail and helicopter to her new home - Pa Joe's orphanage. It relates the bond between her and Pa Joe, a Jesuit priest, and a brave Australian tourist named Jack and others touched by her. In a world full of tragedy and despair, this is a story of courage, friendship and self-sacrifice beyond national, religious and ethnic boundaries .

What an amazing young life! Well done, Clancy Tucker. Luv ya work."

Justice Shane Marshall, Judge - Federal Court of Australia.  



“Boo Nawigamune.  An 8 year old girl with wisdom beyond her years and a heart full of love. Pa Jo. A Jesuit priest from America, living in Thailand and caring for children with nowhere else to go. This is such an extraordinary story of life, sorrow, love, joy and friendship. Pa Joe's Place will remind the reader of the good people can do without expecting anything in return. It will guarantee the reader of a journey about remarkable courage, strength and endurance. But most importantly it will resonate with the reader in many ways and inspire them to be better people. Tucker has managed to tell a story with such human spirit I guarantee the reader will be moved to tears. I certainly was! He has woven such detail about not only the characters but the setting, Thailand, that readers will want to book their next flights there to visit. I implore you to read Pa Joe's Place; learn about the journey of Boo and feel inspired. This is one story that will creep into your thoughts long after the last page has been read.”

Melissa Wray, Author, Australia 

“This is a powerful story of an ordinary girl. This is truly a loving, and moving story that touches  the heart of readers. ’

Anchansiri Sriyananda , Former Senior Diplomat, Bangkok, Thailand.

“It's an excellent story. I didn’t want to put it down. “

Thanyathorn  Homros (Ke), U.S.A.     

“It is a wonderful story that I will purchase many copies of so I can give it to friends and family as gifts - can't wait.”

HeatherJoy Brown, University of the Third Age, Australia 

 “The story itself is what's the most important and it's impressive. It truly was a wonderful tale. Sad at parts for sure, but uplifting, too. It was quite compelling.“

L. Avery Brown, Author, Editor and Publishing Consultant, Texas, U.S.A

  “While I was reading, I was in Thailand, going on all those wondrous adventures with Boo. I have read a great deal of excellent books, and this one ranks at the highest end of the scale with all the best ones. First of all, I do not LIKE or DISLIKE your stories, Clancy; I LOVE them. And what I LOVE about them is that every time I pick one up, I am transported to a new world while sitting in my own little bedroom. Boo is the most inspirational kid I have ever read about, and the way that you wrote it, it feels like I knew her.  And not only that I always feel like I am IN the story, experiencing it all with the characters. And I also love the way that I really have to concentrate in order to come back to reality when mum calls me for dinner or bed time. Keep writing your AWESOME stories. “

Lauren Crocker, Student, Australia.

With true mastery of his writing style Clancy has led us on a wonderful journey into a whole new world. That of an amazingly courageous young girl and her adventure-filled journey from home and family in the north of Thailand to Pa Joe’s Place in southern Thailand. A journey of 1,700 kilometres on her own.

On her own but meeting some powerful and interesting people all of whom see that Boo has that something special. A journey filled with a senior police official, high ranking army officer, elderly Buddist monk and a senior Imam and his family. It’s almost as if her journey south has some special purpose and maybe it does with the enigmatic ‘Pa Joe.’

      Clancy has captured the story of seven year-old, Boo Nawigamune, and powerfully portrayed the physical and emotional journey to Songkhla and the home of 150 children. Pa Joe’s background as a Jesuit priest and Boo as a devout Buddhist makes for interesting times as they discover more about their faith through each other.  You will laugh, you will cry and you’ll come away with an understanding of the Thai spirit and country. From the time I had the good fortune to read an early manuscript it felt like I knew Thailand and could see an amazing young girl influencing others in her happy, positive way.

     The characters are real and well known by the author and they form a part of his love of the country and its people. What more can I say than you will love Boo and see how even a young child can change the lives of others. If this book doesn’t make the best seller list I’ll be surprised. I have never read anything like it. A movie is an absolute must. You have a gift my friend. I know & understand why you love Thailand.

            Hoei Boo!  Love your ‘great’ work, Clancy."

  Kim Stedman, Author, Western Australia.

“I am glad that I have read a wonderful story that deeply touched me, and I am glad to know that there are foreigners who love Thailand. I would like to call your story a masterpiece, because it has inspired me very much. Rarely has any story touched me this much, and rarely has any story made me want to keep reading on and on.” 

Veerabhatr (Jug) Sriyananda, Student, Bangkok, Thailand.

  Well Clancy, what can I say?  I have just finished reading Pa Joe’s Place with tears pouring down my face.  There are not enough Boos in this world and far too many bastards, pardon the language.  However, it is also heart-warming to know that good things often happen to good people, like Pa Joe. I have always hoped that what goes around comes around.

 If it was hard for me to read, it must have been even harder for you to write.  Is Pa Joe still alive?  What an amazing man. Thank you so much for my book, I will be ordering more copies for my friends, you can bet on that.  Love ya work!

 Vera Rothwell, Australia

 This is a heartwarming story of a very courageous young girl, courageous beyond her tender years, and mature in her outlook on life. She faces life's challenges with the same vigour and enthusiasm despite the obstacles. In the process she meets great people along the way who inspire her, and she in turn inspires them. The book is filled with action, surprises and a is realistic insight into the  local culture and traditions of a child living in Thailand.   The warmth of the people shines through. The heartbreak of the child's reality touches your soul. I recommend this book as a rewarding read for old and young alike. 

It’s a great book … A very moving story … Highly passionate. It has a real presence, and the humanitarian component. It’s great, She’s great, You’re great.” 

Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford, Author, GP, Artist, Queensland, Australia. 

“With Poppa gone, Momma would have eight mouths to feed and, because I was the youngest, my parents decided that I should leave home.” – Pa Joe's Place

 It’s hard to imagine what must’ve been going through 7-year-old Boo’s head as she boarded a train to an orphanage 1,700 kilometres away, leaving behind her family and all she knew. In this poignant and inspirational narrative told from Boo’s point of view, we see a strength of character and resilience rarely seen in a child so young. She was obviously a special girl.

 Through all this, the other person who really shone through for me was Pa Joe – the man who gave Boo wings. Told with a deft but light touch, this is a book that will appeal to readers of all ages, but even more so for younger readers.

 Vicki Tyley, Award-winning Australian author


Based on real-life characters, Pa Joe’s Place is a novel about an unpretentious yet extraordinary Thai girl, Boo Nawigamune, who survives remarkable events and influences many lives. Aged seven, Boo leaves her family home when her father is diagnosed with a terminal illness and travels alone over 1,000 km to an orphanage in Songkhla where she is to live. She carries little with her – food, clothes and an unopened letter of introduction. On the way, however, the train journey is interrupted by a crash, following which Boo assists stricken passengers. And, too, the girl meets strangers – influential men who aid her at the time and later when she has reached her destination.

There is much that happens to Boo which defies the odds – she is bitten by a snake, survives a tsunami, meets rich and influential people, and manages to establish a jam-making business which pours money into the orphanage’s coffers. All of her adventures point to what a remarkable, enterprising and inspirational child she is.

Pa Joe’s Place deserves a wide readership if only to showcase two remarkable people, Boo Nawigamune and her surrogate father, Pa Joe Carey. 

Di Bates, Award-winning author, Australia.

Hoei, Boo! With ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, Clancy Tucker has created an extraordinary piece of writing. From the first page, I fell in love with little Boo’s unpretentious yet endearing character, as will every reader, whether young or young at heart. Wherever Boo goes, she touches people in a special way.  The novel has superb writing with excellent narrative and dialogue; a jewel. This book can be read more than once, revealing flashes of pleasure that may have been missed before.

‘Pa Joe’s Place’ also plunges the reader into aspects of Thai culture and the harsh life of its people struggling to survive in an environment tourists perceive as idyllic. Given this glimpse, the reader will be tempted to visit Songkhla for himself and see that land through Boo’s eyes. The ending is sure to leave the reader tearful. This is a story no one will forget soon.

I enjoyed reading this book immensely; a pleasure to come across such a work, having reviewed some very ordinary efforts.

 Stefan Vucak, Editor, Award-winning Australian author

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