Bradman, Tony: Anzac Boys.
Illustrated by Ollie Cuthbertson
Barrington Stoke, 2015, pp92, 6.99[pounds sterling]
978 1 78112 434 5
This story begins in 1906, 12-year-old Bert and his younger brother Frank are orphaned and end up in a Catholic orphanage where they are badly treated. Eventually, they are transported out of England to serve as cheap labour in the British colonies. Although determined to stay together, the brothers are tragically separated--Bert is sent to Australia and Frank to New Zealand. As Bert works his way around Australia as a farm hand he does his best to try and trace his brother, but with the Great War looming will the brothers ever meet again?
This is a fascinating and moving story, made all the more so as it is based on the real experiences of the author's grandfather and great uncle.
Under the Child Migrant Scheme UK, thousands of children, mainly aged between seven and ten, and from deprived backgrounds, were sent to the Antipodes to help combat the problem of a falling workforce. Both of the author's relatives eventually enlisted as ANZACs and fought in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. Consequently, the characters are convincing and the author knows a lot of historical information about the time.
This is a well written book and is an easy read and there are some lovely silhouette illustrations running along the bottom of each page. It is designed to be dyslexia-friendly and it will appeal to children (possibly boys more than girls) aged 8 to 13.
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|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2015|
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