Friday, February 25, 2011

Book review: Our Australian Girl: Meet Poppy by Gabrielle Wang

Our Australian Girl: Meet Poppy by Gabrielle Wang (Published by Puffin Books Australia, January 31, 2011)

Eleven-year-old Poppy and her older brother Gus live in an orphanage, the Bird Creek Mission, in Australia in 1864. Their Aboriginal mother died when Poppy was a baby and they do not know what happened to their Chinese father, who was away at the time. Gus hates the mission and keeps running away, which gets him into trouble. When Poppy learns that Gus is to be sent far away to another mission, he decides to run away to the goldfields, promising to return for Poppy once he has made enough money.

Shortly after Gus leaves, Poppy learns she is to be sent away to work as a servant for a family that is moving to Sydney, which is far away from the mission. Poppy doesn't want to go because she is afraid that Gus will be unable to find her when he returns, and they will never see each other again. So she decides to run away in hopes she will find her brother.

This book is the first of four books about Poppy from the Our Australian Girl series, which is about young girls during different times in Australian history. Poppy was a very likable character, she is smart, brave, and determined. I found the history in this book to be very interesting as I don't know a lot about Australian history, the only other books I have read set in Australia were some of the books from the My Australian Story series. I'm sure young girls living in Australia who are interested in their country's history will love this book, but as an adult living in America, I really enjoyed it too!

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