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Tom Appleby Convict Boy - Jackie French

Paperback Published: 28th April 2004
ISBN: 9780207199424
Number Of Pages: 304
For Ages: 10+ years old

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At the tender age of eight, chimney sweep Tom Appleby is convicted of stealing and sentenced to deportation to Botany Bay. As one of the members of the First Fleet, he arrives in a country that seemingly has little to offer - or little that the English are used to, anyway.

About The Author

Jackie French Koller is a published author of children's books. Some of the published credits of Jackie French Koller include The Dragonling Collector's Edition: Volume 2 (The Dragonling), Seven Spunky Monkeys, The Keepers, Book 3: The Wizard's Scepter, and A Wizard Named Nell (Keepers (Turtleback)).

Historical Fiction with Curriculum Links


I read this book to see if it would be suitable for a Year 5 class which is also learning about Australian First European Settlers. It is: with the bonus of presenting a model of a diary written by a fictional character in a historically accurate setting. Entertaining to boot. A total winner

821.7 MCK


Great book


Great book and very informative. You felt like you were actually there with the character.

Brisbane, QLD


Very Informative


I am using this book in our Australia unit. It gives a very detailed description of what life would have been like for a convict child in Early Australia.





Great book for sharing the early days of convict life in England/Australia. Use as modelled reading.



Brilliant way to learn about Australian History :)


Engaging book for kids and adults. I am reading it to my Year 3 class as part of out 'Frist Contacts' unit of work and they are loving it!!! They relate to the story because they are the same age and I provide lots of background information so they understand what is going on and what everything means and where in the world we are talking about. It's just a great book!!

Sydney AUS


Fascinating! Engaging!


This book is a wonderful resource to have it at home and to your teaching. The characters are engaging. The story fascinating. I just couldn't put it down. My daugther started reading it and she just can't let it go. She will be in year 5 next year and she is so amazed by the story. Jackie based this book in her great grandmother's diaries and easy to understand the other side of the story from a convicts point of view, although Jackie's great grandmother wasn't a convict herself, she was a free woman. Jackie present the readers with "Author's Note" at the end of the book, and it is very useful to know about the Myths around ships and convicts and the story of starvation, misery and depression suffered by most of the convicts and marines at the time. This story made me reflect on various perspectives of Australian Colonisation and how the whole story being told through history books can be easily questioned and insite such inquisitive feelings upon students. This book is a must read.

Caringbah South, NSW


Australian History for Kids


I purchased a class set of this novel as it is perfect for motivating students in the study of settlement in Australia. An enjoyable way to read and learn about the history of this great country.



A child's eyes, a truth-filled journey


I searched for a book about convicts and could not have wished for a more perfect match. Year 3 children related to the character Tom who is their age. Secondly, discovering such a useful teaching resource was a bonus, such wealth within its pages. Jackie French's biography and insight based on her great grandmother's diaries allow the reader or listener to fully appreciate the world that was the convict era.The incredible journey lived through the eyes of a child gives the audience an opportunity to begin to learn, respond and reflect on Australian history and the British Colonisation of our town Sydney.



Tom Appleby Convict Boy

4.9 8


ISBN: 9780207199424
ISBN-10: 0207199426
Audience: Children
For Ages: 10+ years old
For Grades: 4 - 6
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 28th April 2004
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.21

Earn 28 Qantas Points
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Jackie French

About the Author

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