By Charlotte Bronte
Rearsby, Leicester : WF Howes, 2013
Read by Juliet Stevenson
“Reader, I married him.” What a sentence! Of all the flourished and flowery language throughout the story, I let out a laugh of satisfaction on reading these four words. For this was why I was still reading. I needed to know. And there it was in plain English.
Jane Eyre is a classic that I had neglected to read until now. Many more still sit on my ‘to read’ list but I am glad I dived into this one in 2021. It was long, I must say that. I began with it as an audio book but could not find the solitary time to listen and get through it. So I borrowed it from the library. The only copy available was ‘Large Print’ and my eyes were grateful (however the weight of the book was sacrificed due to the additional pages needed).
So for those of you who feel the need to catch up on some classics as I do, I would recommend Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A story of love, life and morality, it is an easy saga to read (discounting the word count!).
Carly Mills- Pioneer Girl
Big Sky Publishing
Carly Mills knows a thing about corsets despite being an independent tween in the 21st century. Both she and her best friend Dora have magical shawls that can transport them back to a time when things were much different for women and girls. This series of books highlight brave, influential Australian women who speak up for their beliefs even when it is difficult to do so. Carly and her friend Dora learn about significant historical events as well as life skills in determination and grit.
In book 2 ‘Emergency’, Carly and Dora meet Lilian Cooper, Queensland’s first female doctor. Despite facing their own challenge of starting boarding school, the girls discover many people before them have navigated significant challenges. Cooper is strong and opinionated. She doesn’t let naysayers stop her when it comes to getting a degree or when she knows that helping the war effort is the right thing to do.
In book 3 ‘Superstar’, the girls are on a choir trip to Melbourne. Mean girl Simone, a return character from book 2, continues to hassle Carly and Dora on everything from their voices to their appearance. In a satisfying twist, Simone is accidentally brought in on the time travel and also gets to experience the true struggles of a female performer in the late 1800s. For this story, the girls are privileged to meet Emily Mitchell before she becomes the famous opera singer that we all know as Dame Nellie Melba. After a range of interactions at different times in the singer’s life, the three girls come to understand when it is important to stand up and speak up for what one believes in.
Jane Smith has written a series of books that offer fabulous history lessons about significant female trailblazers. Having books shortlisted and long listed for ABIA and CBCA, Smith knows how to write both fiction and non-fiction for a young audience. The engaging and humorous books include history notes, as well as a fictional interview with the significant female from each story. Although perfect for a new independent reader (around Year 2 or Year 3), these books can be enjoyed by a range of proficiencies.
What's this about?
As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.