Review Blog

Mar 22 2019

The Runaway by Jane Smith

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Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy book 7. Big Sky Publishing, 2018. ISBN: 9781925675894. 111p.
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: Historical, Speculative. Francis is 'that' friend who has a knack of getting his mates into trouble. He wasn't even supposed to go on holiday to Carly's place in Queensland with Tommy and Martin, who had set aside their time-travelling cabbage-tree hat and boots for the time being. That is until Francis inadvertently sends Tommy back into history.
One good deed leads to another in the bushranging days, but Tommy is recognized by his enemy - Frank Gardner. Frank has turned over a new leaf as the proprietor of an Inn, in Apis Creek. Frank locks Tommy up to deal with him later but the mysterious old hat is on the blink. Trapped, Tommy settles down for the night. Frank has bigger problems as it seems the Police are closing in, without Tommy's help.
Tommy and Martin make several trips back into the past to find out what happened to Frank and his girlfriend, Kate.
The Runaway has the same printing hallmarks as Jane Smith's earlier books about the 'bushranger' boy. Smith has appended three additional sections after the last chapter: An Historical Note, Q and A with Archibald Craig (a minor character) and About the Author. No doubt there are more instalments to come as the author leaves the ending open for another adventure. Teacher's notes for all Jane's books, including relevant links to the Australian Curriculum English Language Arts are available.
Deborah Robins

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