This is a book review on a story by Jackie French called Nanberry it is based on real people and real events. It is set to the time of the first fleet and the first twenty years of the small colony
Surgeon White came to the new colony as doctor with a convict girl Maria, he was a gentleman who adopted Nanberry and an opossum . This story is set around the family Surgeon White builds around himself to help him as he was so lonely in the colony
Maria was a convict girl who had been starved most of her life. She became surgeon Whites housekeeper when she came to the new colony and it was she who had to care for the opossum.
Nanberry was a boy, A native boy out swimming and trying to find mud oysters when he saw a great big canoe he was truly amazed for he thought he had become one with the sea but he had never been able to conquer the waves like the canoes could. His uncle Colbee yelled out “get back, run to the trees” but he stayed even though you never disobeyed when a warrior called, especially if it was your uncle he called again Nanberry ran to the bushes and hid with the others but watched as the warriors shook their spears and yelled go away, go away, but the white ghosts in the canoe didn’t listen then it came close enough and they landed on the sandy beach. The warriors turned and ran back to the main party and they left for their camp, the white ghosts stayed.
One night when he was sleeping his Auntie started to moan and clutch her chest and was soon dead
They quickly buried her and left the camp as you don’t stay where the ghosts are. As they were moving to a different camp more of the tribe went to there knees and started to moan, the warriors decided to save the tribe they needed to leave behind the sick and dying. Nanberry could not leave his family even if he died. The rest of the party went on, Nanberry stayed behind and he got his family to the beach and poured water on them. He went to get food and he saw a tree with possum claw marks, so he thought there would be a possum and he needed food for his sick family. He quickly scaled the tree and grabbed the possum and before it could do anything he whacked its head against the tree and killed it and ran back to his family and made a cooking fire. The next day when he woke up he felt like a jelly fish he could hardly move he looked at himself he was covered in the spots and welts he looked around him and walked to the water and lay in it and bathed in it he felt a bit better.
Mean while over in the small colony the dying natives had been noticed and Surgeon White went out to see what he could do, they found Nanberry and his family, they took the living people back to the colonies hospital and they buried the dead. Surgeon White healed Nanberry and one other girl but he thought all the rest had died of smallpox, it amazed Surgeon White that so many natives died and none of the settlers died.
Surgeon White was very impressed with Nanberry. He was smart and he learned quickly, he also felt a sense of responsibility for him as all of his people had died so he took him home to have better care with Maria looking after him and he eventually adopted him as his son.
Rachel Turner was another convict girl who came on the second fleet. Maria was married then so surgeon White got her as a house keeper to take Maria’s place. They fell in love and had a baby but later on the surgeon had to go back to
and married another lady. Rachel went on to marry Mr Moore. England
Andrew was the baby born to Rachel and he and he had a friend called Garudi they had there own secret cove where they went fishing he was also brother to Nanberry . When he was seven he had to go to
to live with his father. When he grew up he trained as an engineer then served
in the battle of England Waterloo, anyone that survived
the battle of Waterloo was a hero and would get
a free drink from any tavern for saving most of England
and all of Europe from Napoleon.
I thought it was quite an enjoyable book it had a small part of the history of Australia and it was very entertaining we did this as a read aloud and I liked so much I’m going to read it by my self. I also think it would for good someone learning the history of