This category contains 15 posts

May – Ruth Eastham – The Messenger Bird

A different approach to the WW2 era. Nathan and his family have moved into a house his family inherited from his Great Aunt (who lived there during WW2). In the house are clues to a mystery involving the Enigma Code. When Nathan’s Dad gets arrested for breaking the Official Secrets Act, it is up to … Continue reading

May – Belinda Murrell – The Sequin Star

I really enjoyed this time slip novel. The main character, Claire goes back in time to 1932. As a history teacher who grew up in Sydney, the story resonates with me. The opening of the harbour bridge, the locations around Sydney and the “making do” of many during the Great Depression are things I have … Continue reading

Mystery March – Steven Herrick – Cold Skin

Cold Skin is my first verse novel.  I have never been into poetry and as a consequence baulked at verse novels but owing to an author visit decided to promote this book and verse novels to my students.  I found the support notes on the Allen and Unwin site really useful in scaffolding my reading and ultimately … Continue reading

Ned Kelly November – Peter Carey, Robert Drewe and Noelene Allen

For my last stand in Ned Kelly November, I thought I would look at some adult books on Ned (one biography, two fiction) . The first was a biography on Ned’s Mother by Noelene Allen Ellen A Woman of Spirit.  This was very sympathetic to Ellen Kelly and doesn’t present her as the ‘desperate for … Continue reading

Ned Kelly November – Ned Kelly’s Secret

Sophie Masson – Ned Kelly’s Secret –  from boy to bushranger Hugo and his father are travelling through Australia, on the trail of tales of the gold rush. But after they’re ambushed on the road by the notorious outlaw Harry Power, they decide to chase something wilder and far more exciting – the stories of … Continue reading

Ned Kelly November – The Hunt for Ned Kelly

Today is the 11th of November and apart from being Remembrance Day (marking the end of WW1) and the day Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was dismissed in 1975 (“a day which will live in infamy”.) it is also the day that Ned Kelly was hanged in 1880.   This month, I have decided to do Ned … Continue reading

Old Times October – Plague Fiction

These are the things I know about the pestilence. It swarms around those who catch it, like a cloud of flies. If you find yourself caught in the cloud – or look in the eyes of somebody who is sick – or offend God – or are loved by someone who offends God – or … Continue reading

Old Times October – The Apothecary – Maile Meloy

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy is as much an adventure as it is historical fiction (but that is the bonus of historical fiction it goes with so many other genres).  What I liked about it was its diverse range of characters and the Cold War mentality.  Some of it was definitely far-fetched (at times it was like the Young Bond … Continue reading

Old Times October – The Devil’s Own

I love the story of the Batavia.  The devil’s own (1990) by Deborah Lisson is a time slip novel written in third person narrative about wrecking of the Batavia in the 1600s. The main character, Julie, is 15 years old and having an awful time on her family sailing holiday. Through a series of events … Continue reading

Old Times October – Celia Rees – Pirates

Many historical novels cross over into other genres such as adventure stories set in historical time frames. For example, Celia Rees’ Pirates (2003) is such a story – a great adventure but also covering the lives of ordinary people -a merchant’s daughter and a black slave girl. The true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe … Continue reading

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