Carly Mills Pioneer Girl: A New World

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Jane Smith, Carly Mills Pioneer Girl: A New World, Big Sky Publishing, May 2020, 144 pp., RRP $12.50 (pbk), ISBN 9781922265074 

Carly Mills is a country girl about to embark on a new journey; though this adventure is going to be bigger than she expected!  

Carly has never been on a plane, and here she is, in Sydney for the summer with family friends before her trip to Brisbane where she’ll start boarding school. She’s excited and a little overwhelmed by the big smoke, but her new friend Dora is guiding her through the city when they stumble upon the museum. Soon, she picks up a fallen scarf, and finds herself whisked back in time to 1841! Carly finds herself greeted by none other than Mrs Caroline Chisolm and tries to get her head around how she now has to wear this weird thing called a corset and live like a colonial girl! 

Pioneer Girl introduces young readers to the at-times-overlooked strong female changemakers in our colonial history, an important correction in our young learners (not only young women’s) education. Chisolm’s role as a mentor to immigrants at the time, and her work in changing conditions for women, are rightly celebrated through the eyes of a modern Australian girl. Historical notes complete the book, which provide a launchpad for further research and projects on this wonderful woman.  

Thankfully, this is only Book 1 from exciting author Jane Smith. Oh, and if you have an old $5 note lying around, now’s the time to bring it out!  

Reviewed by Belinda Raposo 

Click here to read about author Jane Smith’s inspiration behind writing this new series.

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