Review Blog

Sep 15 2011

Letty on the land by Alison Lloyd

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Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Our Australian Girl (series). Penguin, 2011, ISBN 978 0 14 330542 8
(Ages 9+). Recommended. Australian history. Letty accompanies the baker's sister, Mary and her new born babe back to their farm. Many days ride in a coach sees them being picked up by Mary's husband Clem, and her taciturn son, Harry and taken back to the farm another few days away. Through Letty we are shown what a squatter's farm is like in early Australia, their distance from civilisation, reliance on convict labour, and the scurge of the unknown seasons. Letty is mistrusted by Clem and disliked openly by Harry, and must work hard to gain their acceptance, especially after making several mistakes upon arrival.
One of the quartet about Letty and her new life in Australia, after coming out on the ship with her sister, Lavinia, in the series, Our Australian Girl, this as with the others in this foursome, has a lot going for it. Letty and the other characters are realistically drawn and the background is firmly part of the setting, it never seems imposed for the sake of the telling. Students reading of Letty's life will learn a lot about the developing colony and the pepple who came here risking much to start afresh.
Fran Knight

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