I do not pretend that I have led a blameless life, or that one fault justified another, but the public, judging a case like mine, should remember that the darkest life may have a bright side…
As a child, Ned Kelly saved another boy from drowning in a flooded creek, and was awarded a green sash for his heroism. But it was not this act of bravery for which Ned was to become famous – but for his career as an outlaw, begun just a few short years later.
Whilst there are have been dozens of books, stories, songs and poems about Ned Kelly’s life, Ned Kelly and the Green Sash offers a new insight into his childhood and into his character. The first person narrative presents Ned’s perspective of events, whilst the use of newspaper formats in the middle of the book offers the contrast of the opinions of the time. The gouache illustrations, by Frane Lessac, also give readers an insight into Kelly’s life, with the rich colours of the bush contrasting with the more subdued tones of the prison cell and the sepia tones of the newspaper spreads.
Author Mark Greenwood encourages readers to form their own opinions of Kelly’s actions, and the first person narrative, complemented with the news extracts and Ned’s own writing, as well as back of book notes, gives plenty of food for thought.
A wonderful offering for children of all ages.
Ned Kelly and the Green Sash, by Mark Greenwood & Frane Lessac
Walker Books Australia, 2010
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