The Blue-eyed Aborigine by Rosemary Hayes

The Blue-eyed Aborigine

Written by Rosemary Hayes

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Based on the diaries of a ship’s commander of the 17th century, this intriguing and hard-hitting novel is a book of two halves and brings together the story of two people, Jan a teenage cabin boy on the Dutch ship, Batavia en route to Java and the other Wouter, a young soldier as the brewing discontent aboard becomes ever more unpleasant as they get closer to their destination. But then they’re shipwrecked and marooned on an island just off Western Australia – revolt and discontent becomes the order of the day as water and food is scarce and emotions run high. Drama unfolds even more when they meet the local inhabitants – the aborigines. Jan is enchanted by them, spends more and more time in the aboriginal camp and in time becomes a part of them. This is not just a moving story it also provides a glimpse of life at the time and how different cultures with strange rituals can learn to live together in harmony.


The Blue-eyed Aborigine by Rosemary Hayes

It is 1629, and there is mutiny in the air aboard the Dutch ship Batavia as she plies her way towards Java with her precious cargo. Jan, a cabin boy, and Wouter, a young soldier, find themselves caught up in the tragic wrecking and bloody revolt that follow. But worse is to come! Based on the diaries of the ship's Commander, Rosemary Hayes recaptures some of sea history's most dramatic moments, linking the fates of of Jan and Wouter with discoveries that intrigue Australians to this day. Praise for Payback: This is contemporary novel-writing at its most relevant. The Independent


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

About the Author

Rosemary Hayes

ROSEMARY HAYES lives and works in Cambridgeshire. She has written numerous books for children including historical and contemporary fiction and fantasy. Rosemary lived in Australia for six years, and her first children's novel Race Against Time, set in Australia, was runner-up for the 1987 Kathleen Fidler Award.

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Book Info


256 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Rosemary Hayes
More books by Rosemary Hayes


Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

5th August 2010




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