'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Review: Sir Edward Weary Dunlop

When I was in Primary school, history was a bunch of boring dates and place names. New Frontier’s Aussie Heroes series is anything but boring. The past springs to life through the stories of real people. Quirky details allow me to identify with these people and follow their lives with interest.

Weary Dunlop started life as just another kid in the neighbourhood. Life was tough in the Victorian bush and money was scarce. Weary was a lateral thinker, making do with what he had. Fish traps materialised out of bike hoops and he supplemented the family income by selling fish as well as possum skins. I couldn’t wait to see what other brainwaves he’d come up with over the years and I wasn’t disappointed.

For all the amazing things that Weary did in his life, he was human. He played rugby, studied hard while keeping down a full-time job and struggled to understand when others didn’t have his stamina. He was a loyal friend, taking severe punishment to protect his fellow prisoners of war.

Can you imagine being stranded thousands of miles from home when war breaks out? How must Weary have felt not seeing his fiancĂ©e for six years? The trials he bore were unimaginable, yet he had a habit of making do. Weary Dunlop’s medical inventions saved many lives.

Without explicitly comparing Weary’s world with life today, Hazel Edwards highlights similarities and differences, then leaves it up to readers to discover for themselves. This is the essence of educational adventuring and it’s addictive.  I can’t wait to pick up the next book in the series, Dame Nellie Melba.

- this review by Jo Burnell

Title: Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop
Author: Hazel Edwards
Illustrator: Pat Reynolds
Publisher: New Frontier Publishing, $14.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781921529092
For ages: 9-13 years
Type: Chapter book