(New Frontier, Oct 2013, $14.95, paperback, 9781921928482)
Author: Tania McCartney
Illustrator: Pat Reynolds
For ages: 8–12
Type: Faction Novel, History Book
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Tania McCartney to visit with us to review her latest book.
Before reading her story of Caroline Chisholm, I knew a little about this amazing lady, but I had no idea what an astounding contribution she had made to the shaping of early Australia. How lucky Australia was that this courageous woman, born to a life of privilege, was raised with a strong sense of the importance of helping others, and the adventurous spirit that led her to our shores.
Without Caroline’s support network for young female migrants, brought to Australia to create the male/female balance, many would not have survived in the harsh environment they found themselves in on arrival on our shores. She not only helped to find them shelter, she started an agency to find them employment. She continued and expanded on this work during her lifetime. Just some of her achievements include networks to relocate women to areas where they could be gainfully employed, starting schools and reuniting families torn apart by fathers being sent to the colonies. And while she was busy doing all of this, she found time to raise a family and write Australia’s first non-fiction book. I was staggered by the many things that she achieved in her lifetime. This woman is an inspiration to all women.
I was also, once again, impressed with the writing style of Tania McCartney. That she could so seamlessly take the information her research presented to her and weave it into an engaging story of a woman who defied the convention
of her time is testament to her skill as a writer. While we follow the successes, tragedies and achievements of this extraordinary woman, we are given real insights into the harshness of the environment and the social issues that the first settlers faced.
Tania’s ability to create word pictures that allow us to imagine the scene, coupled with the wonderful illustrations, transports the reader back in time.
The Aussie Heroes series would not be complete without the story of Caroline Chisholm. This book is a worthy addition to the series. Well done, Tania.
‘If Captain James Cook discovered Australia––if John Macarthur planted the first seeds of its extraordinary prosperity––if Ludwig Leichhardt penetrated and explored its previously unknown interior––Caroline Chisholm has done much more: she has peopled—she alone has colonised in the true sense of the term.’
—Henry Parkes’s Empire newspaper, 15 August 1859.
The fifth book in the Aussie Heroes series of junior historical fiction, Caroline Chisholm: The Emigrant’s Friend is an illustrated chapter book for children aged 8 – 12, and covers the remarkable life and work of one our Australia’s greatest philanthropists. The book features beautiful illustrations by Pat Reynolds.
Tania McCartney is an author of both children’s and adult books, and has been writing professionally for over 25 years. An experienced magazine writer and editor, she also founded respected literary site, Kids’ Book Review. She is passionate about literacy, and loves to speak on reading, books and writing. Her latest books include Eco Warriors to the Rescue! (National Library Publishing), Riley and the Jumpy Kangaroo: A journey around Canberra (Ford Street), Caroline Chisholm: The Emigrant’s Friend (New Frontier) and An Aussie Year: Twelve months in the life of Australian Kids (EK Publishing). Tania adores books, travel, and photography. She lives in Canberra with her family, in a paper house at the base of a book mountain.
Follow Tania’s blog tour to find out more about this ‘must read’ book.
Monday 30 September
Giveaway – Kids’ Book Review
Review – Kids’ Book Review
Author Interview – Dianne Bates, Writing for Children
Writing Historical Faction – Pass It On
Researching Sweet Caroline – Sheryl Gwyther’s Blog
Tuesday 1 October
Review + Five Historical Faction Writing Tips – DeeScribe
Review – Elaine Ouston Blog
The Coolest People in Australian History – Soup Blog
Author Interview – My Book Corner
Wednesday 2 October
Review – HerCanberra
Author Interview – Buzz Words
Review – Alison Reynolds
Blog Tour Wrap-Up – Tania McCartney’s Blog