our australian girl is a new series (published by penguin books) about four girls from different points in australian history. each story is accompanied by little illustrations by lucia masciullo.
meet grace (written by sofie laguna) takes place in 1808 and like many children in crowded and poor london, grace is a mudlarker - she spends her days searching for things to sell in the foetid water and mud of the thames. until one day she steals some apples to feed a horse she loves and finds herself thrown into old bailey - destined for hanging or transportation to sydney cove. grace is a lovely character, sweet and caring, and i await her sea voyage (for this, spoiler alert, is what happens) eagerly in the next three books to follow.
alison lloyd's meet letty tells the tale of a young girl who accidentally accompanies her sister's trunk onto a ship bound for the colonies, her sister travelling there as a free settler. i was a bit frustrated with letty not recognising who she could trust on the ship, but she was so willing to help people that i couldn't not like her.
meet poppy (by gabrielle wang) is the story of a chinese-aboriginal girl who runs away from her mission school, disguised as a boy, to meet up with her brother on the gold fields. i think this one was my favourite of the three so far - poppy is such a great character and she gets to eat dinner with a bushranger, for crying out loud!
the last girl in the series, meet rose (sherryl clark), is set just before federation and as women are campaigning for the vote. (a topic close to my heart) rose's mother wants her to be a proper young lady, but rose has other ideas...and a very modern henrietta dugdale-esque aunty ready and willing to indulge them! i believe that the australian women actually called themselves suffragists, though, to distinguish themselves from the british suffragettes. but that's ok.