Will Jack have the courage to follow his heart or will he keep his promise to his best friend?
Best friends Jack and Gilbert made a pact when they were younger – promising to work together in the copper mines, just like their fathers and other Cornish immigrants. But now Jack is turning twelve, and the thought of working underground fills him with panic. When Gilbert is forced to leave school and earn a wage, Jack wants to keep his word to his friend – but that means facing his fear. And all the while his heart is telling him to follow another path. That boy, Jack must find the courage to choose.
Janeen Brian spent her childhood in the seaside town of Brighton, in South Australia. After attending a “dame school type” kindergarten, she attended Brighton Primary and Brighton High Schools. Aged 16 she trained as a primary teacher at Wattle Park Teachers’ College and at 18 stood in front of her first class of Year 5 Students. Her teaching career saw her work as in Junior Primary, Primary, Drama and as a Teacher-Librarian. While raising a family of two daughters, she also began a 4-year career with a professional children’s theatre company, both acting and writing. She has also been involved in over 100 television and radio commercials as well as dozens of voiceovers for radio and video. She began dabbling in writing in her thirties but it was several years before she began to be published with an educational publisher. Since then she has written over 80 books both in trade and educational, and in genres ranging from picture books to poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and novels. Janeen has several awards to her name and many of her books have been translated and published overseas. She also writes for national and overseas children’s magazines and has over 200 poems, plays, stories or articles published. She is of Cornish descent and loved researching the time when That Boy, Jack is set. For more information about the author, please visit her website: www.janeenbrian.com/
[The author] subtly transports the reader back to the 1870s through the observations, activity and dialogue of her characters in a natural, credible way … An enjoyable work of light historical fiction themed around friendship and aspiration suited to middle school readers.
Janeen Brian has created a vibrant and engaging scenario which realistically portrays the hard life of the Cornish miners … The characters are well-drawn and fully rounded, the plot engages the reader and some of the social issues (typhoid, mine accidents, lack of education) are integrated seamlessly into the story. This is an excellent book about colonial life in early South Australia and readers will absorb much information while being engrossed in a good story.
As you go deeper into its pages you will strike veins of hardship, but also discover rich deposits of courage and friendship.
A novel about loss and the fear that can engulf you. A really good read and well-crafted novel.
All The Buzz About Books
A brilliant peek at how children lived, and the responsibilities they had to take on, 140 years ago.
Create a Kids' Book
This evocative book is the reason we read. To be entertained, to be worried, to be affected.
Kids' Book Review
This beautiful Australian junior fiction novel by accomplished author Janeen Brian will easily become a classic.
This book is highly recommended for years 5 to 7 and will be a great text to use in the current history curriculum.