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The Blue-Eyed Aborigine


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About the Author

Rosemary Hayes lives and works in Cambridgeshire. She has written numerous books for children including historical and contemporary fiction and fantasy many of which have been shortlisted for awards. She is also a reader for an authors advisory service and enjoys helping unpublished writers to hone their skills. Rosemary lived in Australia for six years, and her first children's novel Race Against Time, set in Australia, was runner-up for the Kathleen Fidler Award. Rosemary's first Frances Lincoln book, Mixing It, about the relationship between a Muslim girl and a non Muslim boy against a background of terrorism, was shortlisted for the South Lanarkshire Book Award. Her next book, Payback, is based on the actual experiences of a young Muslim woman who was brave enough to defy her family and reject the husband chosen for her.


A definite must-read this summer! A confronting look at a significant event in history, with deft interpretation and excellent character development - a great read. nayusreadingcorner Hayes gets the tone, pace and action just right. Jan's story is gripping. Straight on to the school readings lists for this one, and for the best possible reasons." Weekend Australian A fascinating documentary but also a gripping adventure story that raises timeless questions about human behaviour, conditioning and ultimately the power of love. Magpies A fascinating adventure story about a real-life drama including the possibility of early contact between Indigenous Australians and Western Europeans. Suitable for readers aged 13+, this interesting based-on-fact historical fiction novel is likely to appeal to teens with an interest in Australian history, particularly stories of early European contact with Indigenous Australians. Having read many accounts of this tragic episode, I was impressed by the author's research and skill in relating history whilst telling a captivating tale. Necessarily for younger adolescents, many explicit details are avoided and the volence and degradation are described as moderately as possible. A fascinating story. School Librarian Makes an enthralling and often exciting read. Ibby Link A great read for girls and boys who like a bit of adventure... I would recommend this book to anyone. You'll never want to put it down! Nansi, age 11 Aquila

Gr 7 Up- Jan Pelgrom dreamed of seeing the world via a trading ship, but the conditions aboard the Batavia in 1629 are vile and, as a cabin boy, he is bullied by the sailors and despised by the passengers. The unruly crew is disgusted by the apparent ineptitude of their commander and a mutiny occurs. When the Batavia is shipwrecked off the Australian coast, the teen is manipulated by evil Jeronimus Corneliez, under whose orders he commits unspeakable acts of violence, becoming intoxicated with a disturbing sense of power. Jan is saved from hanging as a mutineer and abandoned with Wouter Looes, the only crew member who had befriended him. He finds happiness with the native Aborigines, who believe he is an ancestral spirit and approve of his union with one of their young women. The stomach-turning descriptions of putrid odors and vermin aboard ship, the mutiny, and the slaughter of innocents will be hard reading for some, but is not gratuitous. The question to be pondered by thoughtful readers is whether redemption through loving kindness-such as the transformation Jan undergoes once he befriends the natives-is realistic. The tale, which is told in two parts and shifting points of view, is based on a true story. It is a well-documented, thrilling adventure.-Jackie Gropman, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library System, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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