It's 1789, and as the new colony in Sydney Cove is established, Surgeon John White defies convention and adopts Nanberry, an Aboriginal boy, to raise as his son. Nanberry is clever and uses his unique gifts as an interpreter to bridge the two worlds he lives in. With his white brother, Andrew, he witnesses the struggles of the colonists to keep their precarious grip on a hostile wilderness. And yet he is haunted by the…

Nanberry is a historical fiction novel by Australian author Jackie French, which is set in the 1700s. Nanberry is an Aboriginal boy living with his family and tribe until an infectious disease wipes out his whole tribe and his only home. When the English colonisers come to Australia and destroy his home, Surgeon White takes him in and cares for him.

I liked how the author wrote the story, it was descriptive, and the plot was interesting. Although I did enjoy the book, I did not like how the story kept changing from one person’s perspective to a completely different person’s point-of-view in the next chapter. At times the book could be confusing, making it hard to study and write about.

I recommend this book for high school or advanced students that really enjoy learning about the English colonisation and the difference between the English settlers and Aboriginal tribes lives in early Australia.

Reviewed by Tilly C. – Year 7 – Salesian College Sunbury