Review Blog

Oct 25 2011

Rose's challenge by Sherryl Clark

cover image

Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Our Australian Girl (series). Penguin, 2011. ISBN 978 0 14 330538 1
(Ages: 9+) Australian history. In this the third book in the four about Rose, a Federation girl in the midst of the celebrations for the new Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, Rose is practicing her skills learnt at school, particularly writing with a pen and ink (not, I might add a later twentieth century fountain pen featured on the cover). Rose has excelled herself at her beloved cricket. Able to bowl out many of the more experienced players at school, she is picked for the school team to play another girl's school later in the term. But her mother is seriously ill, showing the prevalence of disease at this time, and she cannot tell her. At the same time, women are expecting that the new parliament will grant votes for women as one of its first bills, and so tensions mount as Aunt Alice and the campaigners get into full swing with debates about voting. Clark cleverly shows both sides of the argument put forward at the time and Rose and her father and Aunt Alice are involved in a riot at one of the debates.
One of the stories about the engaging Rose in the series, Our Australian Girl, like the others in this informative series, gives the reader a neat overview of the times and the issues prevalent at the moment our nation became one.
A great introduction to the history of the period, these will give an informative background to the work being done in the classroom to satisfy the new History curriculum.
Fran Knight

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