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My Story. The journey of a convict 1789.
It's 1789. Poor Mary Wade envies the rich people who toss her a half penny just to go away. One day she makes a mistake that lands her in London's filthiest prison. Mary's one chance of escaping the gallows is a long and perilous journey to the other side of the world. What choice does she have when there is no way back?
Mary Wade's story will take the MY STORY reader on a long and perilous journey, beginning in London's slums at the end of the eighteenth century, taking in the Georgian criminal underworld, imprisonment in Newgate prison, and culminating in a voyage to Australia onboard a prison ship, after our heroine has been spared the ultimate penalty for her small crime.
Valerie Wilding has returned to Old Bailey records to add a thoroughly researched, rivetingly told episode in history to this exciting series.
This is a very well written book, written in the first person in diary form. The story of Mary Wade is a very sad one. At 148 pages of double line type it's a very quick read and perfect for a reader of eight - ten years plus. The author Valerie Wilding has done very well in bringing to life what the living conditions and circumstances may have been like in that time based on her research.
Being aimed at the young reader this book is sanitised in its accounts somewhat, I should imagine, but is a great introduction to what life was like in the 1700's and how the most trivial of misdemeanours would mean the death sentence, or worse, transportation.
I really enjoyed reading this book and will be looking out for others in the set as they are so well written for the younger reader and a brilliant way to introduce history without it being too boring or containing explicit detail that your young one might not quite be ready for.
I would recommend this book if you already have enjoyed others in the series or would like a very readable book detailing the period of Mary Wade's transportation from England.
I went into this story having no idea that it was based on a true person and I didnt find this out until I finished the story and googled the name Mary Wade. This made the book even more memorable!
It's a very easy read that I did in two evenings. Set out in a diary form made it easy to follow. I have to admit though that in the beginning I would have preferred a more in depth read but once I got the hang of the diary style, I really enjoyed it. It made it feel more personal. This is one book I will re read.
To think that the events of the story are based on what actually happened to someone as young as 10 is horrible!
I am looking forward to reading more of Valerie Wildings books :)
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"A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)