The Black Dress

Mary MacKillop – A Novel

Age 13+

General Fiction

Can you love someone when you can’t forgive them? Do you keep fighting for something you believe in when everyone is telling you you’re wrong? The Black Dress is the incredible story of Mary MacKillop – an unconventional young woman born into a time and a religion bound by convention. What Mary did with her life would change the course of Australia’s history

The Black Dress, by award-winning Australian author Pamela Freeman, brings to life the extraordinary childhood of Mary MacKillop – the only Australian to be sainted. This historical novel for young adult readers is about love, suffering, faith and kindness. It won the 2006 NSW Premier’s History Prize for Young People. To find out more about Pamela, visit her website:

“A book about suffering and strength, religion and rebellion, love and anger.” – Herald Sun

“… credible and compelling.” – The Age

“This is a book seeped in Australian and family history, filled with poetic descriptions and emotive language in a tender and moving narrative.” – Good Reading magazine

“A window into the heart and mind of a young woman ahead of her time … An inspirational story, no matter what your beliefs.” – Magpies magazine


Pamela Freeman is an award-winning children’s author who has also worked as a freelance business and technical writer. Pamela’s work ranges from picture books to young adult novels and she is best known for her Floramonde series of fantasy novels which include The Willow Tree's Daughter, Windrider and The Centre of Magic. The Castings Trilogy is Pamela’s highly successful fantasy series for adults published by Hachette Australia. In addition to this, she teaches creative writing to adults at the Sydney Writers’ Centre. Victor’s Challenge won the 2009 Aurealis Award for Best Children’s Short Fiction/Illustrated Work/Picture Book and was a Notable Book in the Younger Readers Category, Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards, 2010. For more information about Pamela and her books, please visit her website:


…credible and compelling.

The Age

A book about suffering and strength, religion and rebellion, love and anger.

Herald Sun

An inspirational story, no matter what you beliefs are.


This is a book steeped in Australian history…a tender and moving narrative.

Good Reading Magazine

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