Subtitle: My Australian Story
By: Chrissie Michaels
Genre: Secondary Fiction - YFT - Historical fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: Scholastic Australia
Published: 01 Jun 2014
ISBN: 9781743620151


Almost one year ago I arrived in this colony on board an English transport. I am to leave on board a French Discovery ship ... In the Geographe's Great Cabin glass-cased insects and plant specimens cluttered every nook and cranny. At the long oak table the Commander sat writing in the ship's log. The black flourishing of his words, strange mark on mark, were imaginings of a journey I could not fathom.

Mary Beckith, convicted for theft, is transported for life to the colony of New South Wales. She is determined to take charge of her own destiny by whatever means she can. But she does not reckon on the most powerful people in the colony making decisions that will alter her life forever. Her fate is to be linked to two extraordinary explorers - Nicholas Baudin and Matthew Flinders - and their marvellous Voyages of Discovery.


A wonderful new story in the My Australian Story series.

We follow the tale of Mary Beckwith, a young English girl sent to Australia with her mother in 1801 for life. Their crime - stealing a piece of cloth.

Mary’s life as a convict girl is hard, but certainly not as tough as many found life in the colony. Her mother schemes to get Mary placed with her, at the home of the Judge, a powerful man at the time. Mary is assigned to be the nursemaid for the Judge’s two young daughters which, luckily, affords her a much more civilised way of life.

But it is Mary’s inquisitive nature that really shines through in this story - it leads her to many misadventures, but also leads her on the most adventurous and important journey of her life - a journey aboard the French discovery ship, the Géographe. This is a huge adventure for Mary but, since she hasn’t been pardoned, she really isn’t meant to be leaving the colony.

Set in a relatively unknown time in Australia’s colonial past, with the arrival of the French discoverers in the colony contributing to an uneasy and tense relationship between the French and the English.

This book will be enjoyed by girls, especially those who like history. Best suited for those in Year 5 to Year 8, but certainly not limited to this.

Reviewed by Sam