Review Blog

May 18 2020

To the Bridge - The Journey of Lennie and Ginger Mick by Corinne Fenton

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Illus. by Andrew McLean. Walker Books, 2020, ISBN: 9781925126822.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. The building of the iconic Sydney Harbour during the Great Depression captured the interest of the nation. One young farm boy Lennie Gwyther from Leongatha loved to ride his pony Ginger Mick to pick up the newspapers delivered by train. Every morning he had read about the progress made by the large workforce as they laid the pylons and built the arches. Lennie's one desire was to attend the special opening ceremony, however when his father broke his leg, his son had to step up and complete all the farm chores. There wasn't any money for a train ticket to Sydney.
Lennie's solution was to ride the six hundred miles on his faithful pony Ginger Mick. What an adventure, riding twenty miles a day, looked after by folks along the way, given food and overnight shelter. Escaping from a bushfire, battling the weather, riding in the mountains, Lennie's dream led him through all the tough times. On Saturday March 19th, 1932 Lennie and Ginger Mick proudly crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, what an amazing achievement!
Corinne Fenton's beautifully descriptive story To the Bridge captures the feel of the countryside, the struggles of farm life and the true spirit of Australia. There is a sense of pride, as she captures the determination of a young boy's achievements, his determination to complete an arduous journey and inspire hope in times of adversity. Andrew McLean's sweeping landscapes, his beautiful pen and watercolour illustrations add depth to Fenton's story. Subjects: Boys, Horses, Sydney Harbour Bridge - History. Teacher's notes are available.
Rhyllis Bignell

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