I saw the movie, but never read the book--which sounds like it's wonderful.
From the Washington Post:
Australian author Doris Pilkington Garimara dies at 76
Doris Pilkington Garimara — who died April 10 in Perth, Australia, and was believed to be 76 — wrote perhaps the most gripping and personal narrative about the assimilation process. Her 1996 book, “Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence,” traced her mother’s escape at 14 from a government-approved native settlement and her audacious, 1,000-mile trek home through the harsh wilderness in western Australia.
Director Phillip Noyce’s acclaimed 2002 movie version of Ms. Pilkington’s book reverberated deeply. It was a crucial factor in then-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s decision to issue a formal apology in 2008 for “laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on . . . our fellow Australians.”