AWW2013 – Book 39
A Friend for Grace
Childrens Historical Novel
When we last left Grace, she was on board a ship as a convict, bound for Australia. A Friend for Grace chronicles her journey, shows the importance of a girl like Grace having a friend and introduces the Women’s Factory at Parramatta. Although Grace is aware that there is a certain element of adventure, especially once they land in Australia, there’s the constant understanding that things are very difficult for the convicts, and that the line between life and death could be precariously thin.
I really like Grace as a character. She’s a product of her hard life, and in some ways she knows that life in Australia might be better than the horrible life with her uncle. She’s clever with people; even taking the time to get to know the loud and violent Sally – a move which pays off for her in the end. However, this is almost a place marker book, getting Grace from one place to another and setting her up for the stories to come.
With the new history curriculum focusing on Australian history, this would have to be a must read for the classroom – excerpts from the book would bring the right amount of ‘colour’ needed o make history interesting to students.