Review Blog

Sep 23 2011

Meet Poppy by Gabrielle Wang

cover image

Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Our Australian Girl series. Penguin, 2011. ISBN 978 0143305323.
(Ages 9+) Australian history. Recommended. Poppy, living in an orphanage, a mission for children with an Aboriginal background, happens upon a letter in the head sister's office. It says that her brother Gus is about to be removed to another place, one where his habit of wandering off can be curbed. Fearful, Poppy tells Gus and he takes off that night. When the same woman then tells Poppy that she is about to be adopted by a Christian family from Sydney, she too, follows her brother, cutting off her hair and donning a boy's clothes to cover her tracks. The time is 1864, and Poppy and Gus are of Aboriginal and Chinese backgrounds, and both want to find their parents.
A lively adventure, Poppy is the main character in a quartet of books about this girl of Aboriginal and Chinese parents, finding her way in the gold seeking world that is Victoria in 1864. This character is one of the girls in the series, Our Australian Girl, giving modern readers a look at how girls lived in Australia's past, an engaging addition to books which will support the new Australian Curriculum with its emphasis on history. Much information is added to the readers' knowledge of Australia's past through reading these series.
Each of the books is about 100 pages long, with large clear print and they are easy to read. The stories are gripping and characters lively and likeable. Each book has information at the end of the story underlining that given in the story, and has a teaser, the first few pages of the book following this one, to get the readers interested in the following book.
Fran Knight

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