Meet Grace, by Sofie Laguna

Grace screamed as men grabbed at her legs. She heard whistling and shouting and then she fainted as she fell, half-dragged, into the arms of a runner.
When she came to, the policemen hauled her into a cart. Grace didn’t need to ask where she was going. She already knew. To the gallows to be hanged.

It is 1808 and orphan girl Grace lives in London, surviving by working daily as a mudlark – scouring the muddy bottom of the Thames for things to sell. Her one joy in life is watching the horses on Fleet Street. But one day Grace’s hunger gets the better of her and she steals an apple. Even her horse friend can’t save her from being arrested, and soon she finds herself in prison facing the possibility of a death sentence.

Meet Grace is the first of four stories about this convict girl and forms part of the Our Australian Girl series from Puffin books. The series traces the lives of four girls in different periods of Australian history, with each girl the heroine of four books, and each set of four written by an eminent Australian author.

Meet Grace not only introduces Grace, enticing young readers to sek out the next instalment, but is self-contained enough to be satisfying on its own.

Meet Grace (Our Australian Girl)

Meet Grace (Our Australian Girl), by Sofie Laguna
Puffin, 2011
ISBN 9780143305286

This book can be purchased from good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.