Review Blog

Feb 06 2017

Stories of life at Sydney Cove by Susan E Boyer

cover image

Birrong Books, 2016. ISBN 9781877074493
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Beginning with the life of thirteen year old John Hudson, a chimneysweep imprisoned in Newgate (London), the book follows the lives and thoughts of convicts, their British masters and more importantly the stories of Aboriginal people, following their meeting on Australia's shores in 1788.
The book describes in a careful and balanced way, the struggle of the early years of the colony at Sydney, the attempts to find suitable farmland, the fear of the unknown, the meetings between the two cultures, the wonders of nature, the plots, unexpected opportunities and the disasters that changed lives. There are excellent insights into the lives of young, old, and women. Stories highlight leadership, adventure, dilemma, mystery and discovery in the lives of the two societies.
The book is based on thorough research and provides descriptions based on documented descriptions from the time. Based on an earlier adult book: Across great divides, the language of this edition is simplified for the young reader, and information is highlighted in text boxes, great illustrations (based on originals) and simple maps.
This book for young readers acknowledges the good and bad aspects of first settlement history but also celebrates the land's opportunities, and the deepening understanding of culture and environment. The reviewer found this book very appropriate in the light of recent controversy about 26th January as the date for Australia Day.
Paul Pledger
Editor's note: Teacher resources are available from the author's website.

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

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
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates