When Tommy Bell is sent to work on his grandfather’s farm for the school holidays, he is very reluctant to go because he would rather stay with his mates in his regional NSW town. But while he is exploring a cave, he discovers an old bushranger’s hat and he is whisked back to a previous time when these outlaws roamed the Australian bush.
Each book in the series brings Tommy and his friends face-to-face with one of our history’s well-known bushranger characters and as they are involved in an exciting adventure they learn not only about our past but also themselves as the historic story parallels their contemporary lives.
Written for independent young readers, this series offers a different theme for this audience with its time-travelling going backwards rather than forwards. The first, Shoot Out at the Rock, was a 2017 CBCA Notable, a testament to the content and the quality of the writing.
When Carly Mills goes to Melbourne with the school choir, she gets more than she expected. Thanks to her magic shawl that transports her back in time, she takes a trip back to 1867 and a chance meeting with a mischievous little girl who might just grow up to be the world famous opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. If Carly is to help the little girl achieve her dream, she will have to endure Nellie’s practical jokes, an angry headmaster, and her father’s belief that opera is not a fit career for a lady. Not to mention Simone’s bad moods and Dora’s terrible singing. But at the same time, she discovers her own abilities to persevere if she wants to make her own dreams come true.
This is the third in this series, written for newly-independent readers who are interested in learning about the lives of women who have shaped history With a mix of fictional characters like Carly and real-life women it brings them alive in a more personal way through the narrative and showing how what the characters learn can be applied to the modern world. With her own website, and a host of resources for teachers and students, this is a series that will appeal to young girls in a similar way that Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy appeals to young boys.
On a trip to Sydney before being sent to boarding school in Brisbane, country girl Carly Mills visits the sights and sites of Sydney’s past with her new friend Dora. At Customs House they are refused admission because the exhibits are being changed. but when Carly picks up two shawls that drop off a trolley she is told to keep them as they are probably being discarded.
But what she doesn’t realise is that hers has a magic of its own when she puts it on- it transports her back in time to meet some of the influential women in history.
In the first in this new series she is taken back to 1841 to the days of Caroline Chisholm and her work with new immigrant women and girls giving them a safe haven in the Female Immigrants’ Home and getting suitable employment. In others she meets Dr Lilian Cooper, Dame Nellie Melba, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Miles Franklin.
Written for newly-independent readers, the series is a mix of fictional characters like Carly and real-life women who have shaped the world bringing history alive in a more personal way through the narrative and showing how what the characters learn can be applied to the modern world. A companion series to Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy, this has great potential to introduce young readers to important people of the past in a way that will engage and educate at the same time.