There's never a good time to be orphaned - or abandoned... especially when you are twelve years old, and it's the Great Depression.
In 1928, Shakespearean actors, the McAllisters, are forced to leave their daughter Adversity at the Emu Swamp Children's Home.
They fully intend to return, but things don't go according to plan.
Then, to make matters worse, Scrimshaw, a villainous theatrical agent, hears the talented Addie sing. He plots to use her in his next money-making venture, but when he turns up at Emu Swamp to collect his prize, Scrimshaw finds she's run away.
Together with Macbeth, her Shakespeare-quoting cockatiel, Addie is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
This is a delightful middle-grade reader set around the time of the Great Depression and the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Our feisty main character Adversity (Addie) McAllister has been left by her parents, the stars and performers in a Shakespearean theatrical company, at the Emu Swamp Children’s Home. They fully intended to collect her when the dreaded Depression ends.
However, Matron Maddock, the conniving woman in charge of the home, sees a profit making opportunity when she hears Addie sing. She informs Addie’s parents that Addie has disappeared into the bush, never to be heard of again, and tells Addie that her parents have died in a flood. She proceeds to become Addie’s guardian, so that she can sell her to the evil talent agent Scrimshaw.
Together with her Shakespeare quoting cockatiel Macbeth, Addie overcomes much adversity in her quest to gain her freedom.
Addie is a wonderful character, and many other good people help her throughout her journey, and together this makes for an entertaining historical adventure. This is an ideal read for middle grades, but particularly for girls aged 10—14.
Reviewed by Rob