Thursday, September 24, 2009
Book #6 - Tom Appleby, Convict Boy by Jackie French
This is a kid's book written by Australian author Jackie French. It's about an 8 year old London boy, Thomas Appleby, who turns to theft to survive after he is left an orphan. He is caught, sent to Newgate Prison, and finally transported to Australia on the First Fleet.
Tom's story is told along with the history of the new colony. It details the conditions of the trip over, how the first colony almost starved because they couldn't adapt to the food that was available rather wanting the food they were used to and the day to day life of the settlers.
I actually got this out of the library thinking it might be ok to read to Billy but thought I'd better read it myself first. I'm glad I did! While not extremely graphic, some of the scenes (like the hangings and floggings) could be better left a few years.
A thoroughly enjoyable book for probably 10 year old and up though! While I've always been a huge Jackie French fan, having read her adult gardening books, and her kid's picture books, I'll be reading more of her historical series now.
I've also updated & sorted my book list. Check it out - I'm always open to suggestions :)