Review Blog

Apr 28 2011

The Valley of Blood and Gold by Tony Palmer

cover image

Penguin, 2011. ISBN 9780143008972.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. The year is 1854. Miners are rebelling against soldiers at Ballarat, but Fintan Donovan, a young Irish boy, is fighting battles of his own. The Irish and English are enemies, and one of the greatest enemies of Fintan's family is Joseph Ward, a local wealthy preacher who hates the Irish. As the situation in Ballarat reaches breaking point and Fintan struggles to keep his friendship with Joseph Ward's son, Matthew, he discovers things about himself that he never thought he would.
The Valley of Blood and Gold is a wonderful book that is richly descriptive, surprising and thoroughly enjoyable in many ways. It was fascinating to read about Australia in 1854 and what was happening during that time, especially about the Eureka Stockade battle. The actual story begins some time before that, and it was exciting, seeing the tension slowly building up in the story, until suddenly everything happened at once.
I thought this story was original, and quite clever. The main theme of the Irish and the English hating each other was a good theme to write about, and it certainly made for some engaging reading, especially when two warring characters confronted each other. As for the atmosphere of the story, the author did a good job of making it feel like 1854, with the description, the dialogue, and so forth.
On the blurb, it says 'vivid and powerful, The Valley of Blood and Gold evokes a moment in history that is entrenched in national heritage.' And that basically sums it up.
I highly recommend this book.
Rebecca Adams (Student)

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Miles Franklin longlist 2017
Reading Children's Book Prize 2017
Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist 2017
Branford Boase Award shortlist 2017
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates