16 August 2010

Fool’s Gold

by Margaret Clark

Penguin (Aussie Bites). Australian, Junior. Paperback rrp $12.95

Guest Reviewer Jo Burnell

Aussie Bites are always entertaining easy-reads, but Fool’s Gold is so much more. Margaret Clark has recreated the 19th century gold mining town of Ballarat, complete with its tent city. She’s covered the historical detail, and then overlaid a factional mystery. The kids in this story might not be real, but their lives and the difficulties they face are straight from the dusty streets of 150 years ago.

History books can be boring and difficult to understand, but Margaret Clark brings this part of the world to pulsating life. When you take best friends who are struggling to survive, a well-stocked local store and a legend about a hidden stash of gold, you have all the ingredients for an action-packed adventure. Add an interfering girl who wants the gold for herself and things get interesting.

Is there really a ghost guarding the hidden stash of gold? Does that gold really exist? Would you risk permanent bad luck in the hope of feeding your family? When does borrowing become stealing?

Get ready for a tale that moves so quickly, you will wonder where the pages went.


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