#LoveOzYA – Historical

This fortnight’s #LoveOzYA theme is Historical.


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Three Historical Australian YA Books

Bridie’s Fire – Kirsty Murray – Children of the Wind #1 – Allen Unwin – Published 1 May 2003

Bridie, an orphaned Irish teenager escapes the potato famine that claimed the lives of her parents and baby brother. Independent and stubborn, Bridie makes a new life for herself in the rough-and-tumble world of Australia during the nineteenth-century gold rush.

This book takes me back to when I first read it, in my early teen years. I enjoyed the whole series of four standalone novels, which follow the adventures of four unique Australian teens.

Scatterheart – Lili Wilkinson – Black Dog Books – Published 2007

Hannah Cheshire is rich and spoilt. She has servants to wait on her hand and foot and Thomas, a passionate young tutor who fills her head with stories. Then one day her father disappears, and she is left to fend for herself. Alone and penniless, she is sentenced to transportation for a crime she didn’t commit.

This is another book I read many years ago. But the memory of this adventure has stayed with me.

The Billabong series – Mary Grant Bruce – Ward Lock London – First published 1910

Billabong, a large cattle and sheep property in the Australian countryside, is home to twelve-year-old Norah Linton, her widowed father, David and her older brother, Jim. Norah’s prim and proper aunts, who live in the city, consider she is in danger of “growing up wild” – riding all over Billabong on her beloved pony, Bobs, helping with the mustering, and joining in all the holiday fun when Jim and his friends come home from boarding school.

No list of my favourite Australian historical novels would be complete without a book from the Billabong series. When I was done with Enid Blyton’s many books I quickly moved to Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong series and fell in love! While they might be classified as Australian children’s classics, the later books follow Norah, Jim and Wally as they progress from childhood into their young adult years and then into adulthood.

Want more historical Oz YA? Check out more picks here.