Every shipwreck has a story. Most have been forgotten but a select few capture our collective imagination. One of those wrecks that’s been impossible to forget is the 1878 wreck of the Georgette on the south-west coast of Australia. In fact, two Australian authors have recently published a pair of children’s books on the heroic rescue rescue of the Georgette‘s passengers by 16-year-old Grace Bussell and Sam Isaacs, a family farmhand.
Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck, by first-time author Michelle Gillespie, reflects careful historical research and meticulous attention to detail. As Gillespie told The West: “I had a responsibility to get the events as close as possible to the truth, even down to the name of Grace’s horse.” By every account, Gillespie succeeded — Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck is a resounding success.
Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea combines the story of Grace Bussell and the wreck of the Georgette with images and stories of life in the colonies during the late 1800s. The author skillfully blends the story of the shipwreck and its aftermath with chapters on life at sea and on the land, as well as family Christmas traditions. Illustrations include the author’s, as well as reproductions of newspaper stories and historical documents.
I want to read both! Though I’ll have to wait for my local library to get them in–I doubt Santa has time to procure copies for me.