AWW2013 – Book 17
Children’s Historical Fiction
Library Book, Moreton Bay Regional Libraries
Meet Poppy is actually an introduction to the third girl and time period in the Our Australian Girl series (also including Grace, Letty and Rose). Set in 1864, we are introduced to Poppy, a young orphan who is living with her brother at the Bird Creek Mission. When her brother runs away and she discovers that she is to be sent to a family in Sydney, before the usual age of 12, she decides to pretend she is a boy and set out to find her brother.
I know Heidi loved this one for many reasons, including the setting. That would be one of my few grumbles with this series – all the stories centre around New South Wales and Victoria – it would be great to see more diversity in locations to include Queenland, Tasmania, South Australia or Western Australia. These areas seem to be missed in children’s historical fiction, which is one of the reasons Georgiana was a pleasant surprise.
Poppy is an incredibly likable character, even more than Grace. She’s brave and resourceful and takes pride in her achievements. There’s a lot of learning which could be connected to this book as well, from the Missions to Bushrangers and the Gold Rush – it was a busy time in Australian history and that is reflected in the book.
While it’s not my favourite of the books (I adore Meet Rose), I thoroughly enjoyed this and can’t wait to read what happens to Poppy next.