Review Blog

May 16 2017

History mysteries series by Mark Greenwood

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Lasseter's gold. ISBN 9780143309321
The last tiger. ISBN 9780143309253
(Age: Middle primary) Recommended. Two wonderfully enlightening tales in the History mysteries series of books, giving a fictional account of a real event in Australia's history, will be well read as they offer excitement and adventure wrapped up in a plethora of historical facts about our past.
The claim by Lasseter in 1900 that he had found a massive reef of gold somewhere in Central Australia, still holds water today as people search for it. He was able to convince people to back him in 1930 and an expedition set out from Alice Springs. But people soon tired of his secrecy and seeming inability to understand the bush. More of them began to question if he had ever been in the bush, and so most went back to Alice Springs, leaving Lasseter and a gold prospector to travel on. They split, and later Lasseter's body was found buried in a shallow grave by Aboriginal people who had tried to help him. But the story endures, especially after maps and instructions were found in the bank after his death.
The story of the last thylacine in Australia is a poignant as it is instructional, pointing to the fragility of our environment and urging us to care for it.
Two other books have already appeared in this series, Diamond Jack and The lost explorer, and the four together make great reading for middle school people, introducing them to history through a well told story with illustrations, maps and a glossary to help the early learner.
Fran Knight

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