Engaging and authentic historical fiction about one boy from the Torres Strait trying to work his way up in the pearl-shell industry.
This book gives us a fabulous insight into Australian history around the turn of the 20th Century.
The Pearl-shell Diver tells the story of thirteen-year-old Sario who lives on a remote Torres Strait island and joins the dangerous but exciting pearl-shell trade.
Pearling is an important source of income in Sario’s community but the effects of deep diving, not to mention the threat of sharks, were often dangerous and harsh on the islander’s health.
The divers also suffer cruel treatment from some English boat owners, and with an influx of Japanese pearl divers, and an incoming White Australia policy, what will be their fate?
Sario’s shows tenacity of spirit in his attempt to keep his family and village together in a peaceful existence. However, the hardship that his community faces in a changing Australia is never far from the surface.
An interesting and insightful read and a great discussion starter for upper primary classrooms.
Reviewed by Rob