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A Waltz for Matilda : The Matilda Saga : Book 1 - Jackie French

A Waltz for Matilda

The Matilda Saga : Book 1


Published: 1st December 2010
For Ages: 13+ years old
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Published: 1st December 2010
For Ages: 10+ years old
Format: ePUB

Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong

Under the shade of a Coolibah tree

And he sang as he watched and waited till his Billy boiled

You′ll come a‐waltzing Matilda with me...′

In 1894, twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. But drought grips the land, and the shearers are on strike. Her father has turned swaggie and he′s wanted by the troopers. In front of his terrified daughter, he makes a stand against them, defiant to the last. ′You′ll never catch me alive, said he...′

Set against a backdrop of bushfire, flood, war and jubilation, this is the story of one girl′s journey towards independence. It is also the story of others who had no vote and very little but their dreams.

Drawing on the well-known poem by A.B. Paterson and from events rooted in actual history, this is the untold story behind Australia′s early years as an emerging nation.

About the Author

Jackie French is a full-time writer who lives near Braidwood in the Araluen Valley, NSW. In 2000, Hitler’s Daughter was awarded the CBC Younger Readers’ Award. To the Moon and Back won the Eve Pownall Award in 2005. Macbeth and Son, and Josephine Wants to Dance were both shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards.


Reading again.


I am old but enjoy the whole series! Australian history & legend entwined with some creativity! Enjoy Jackies writing.



Excellent Read


A wonderful story that showed the history of our nation.



Great read


A great read as are the others in the series. I suggest you read them in order. They're all good from an early Australian historical view too.

Sydney Australia


Great writing with a strong Australian historical accent


The series needs to be read in the order written. For younger readers but at age 72 I loved them.

Sydney, Australia


Great Australian Book for Teens up


Enjoyable. Learnt things I had not known about aboriginal culture. Insight into early Australia.



Wonderful reading for older girls & adults alike.


I originally got this book out from the library for my daughter but decided to read it first myself. I'm so glad I did! It's a wonderful book. There's not many books that I end up making copious notes on, writing out family trees and doing more research from, but I found this book so moving & inspirational that I just had to follow up. I couldn't wait to read the next books in the series & they did not fail to deliver. All truly wonderful books that follow important events in history but with a wonderful family, personal touch. I have read all the books in the series from the library but then ended up buying them in the end too. I want to be able to re-read them & also for my daughter to grow up reading these books. The series should be obligatory reading for all teenage girls, and indeed, any adult!



Great Australian history read.


A great way to learn about Australian history. Particularly how we treated the indigenous people. Has got me interested in reading historical fiction. The story includes a great bond between a young woman and a father figure.



Can;t put it down


This book is full of generes such as; drama, a bit of romance, adventure and lots of others. This is just another example of a book that you can't put down! Jackie French has done it again! she has made Australia's history amazing. This was the book that made me love books as much as I do now! LOVE IT



A Waltz for Matilda

4.9 8


Jackie French

Jackie was the Australian Children's Laureate for 2014/15 and the 2015 Senior Australian of the Year.  She is also an historian, ecologist, dyslexic, and a passionate worker for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read, and the power of books.

Jackie's writing career spans 25 years, 148 wombats, over 140 books, 36 languages, 3,721 bush rats, and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas. 

Her books range from provocative historical fiction such as Hitler’s Daughter and They Came on Viking Ships to the hilarious international bestseller, Diary of a Wombat with Bruce Whatley, as well as many nonfiction titles such as The Fascinating History of Your Lunch, and To the Moon and Back (with Bryan Sullivan), the history of Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek and man’s journey to the moon.

In 2000, Hitler’s Daughter was awarded the CBC Younger Readers’ Award. To the Moon and Back won the Eve Pownall Award in 2005. Macbeth and Son, and Josephine Wants to Dance were both shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards.

Visit Jackie French 's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9780732290214
ISBN-10: 073229021X
Series: The Matilda Saga
Audience: Children
For Ages: 13+ years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 1st December 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.0  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.33