Review Blog

Nov 30 2016

The horse thief by Jane Smith

cover image

Tommy Bell: Bushranger Boy. Big Sky Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925520064
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. The Horse Thief finds a new classmate for Tommy as well as more adventures with his horse Combo. Riding Combo also allows Tommy to use the hat he found to go back in time to the time of bushrangers and the gold rush. Tommy manages to meet bushrangers unknowingly every time! Somehow, he also sees links between current events in his life and end events in the olden days. Tommy gets caught up in the middle of horse stealing and before he knows it, he is chasing bushrangers and helping them escape. How will Tommy get out of this dilemma?
Tommy Bell: Bushranger Boy - The Horse Thief is another instalment in this series about year 5 student Tommy Bell. It is a standalone story and refers back to the first book to keep readers up to date. The good thing about the Tommy Bell series is the year 5 History links - bushrangers and the gold rush - making it a good novel for the classroom. They book is quick moving and at 79 pages, an easy read for a time conscious teacher. It is also quick moving and uses easy to read but descriptive text. Highly recommended for readers aged 8+.
At the end of the book are historical notes about the bushranger and other characters in the story. Readers can collect their own information about a bushranger and write a biographical report and then their own version of a Tommy Bell story!
Kylie Kempster

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