It's 1849 . . . and Nellie O'Neill is arriving in South Australia on a ship bringing orphan girls from Irish workhouses. Nellie and her best friend, Mary, have left the famine in Ireland far behind, and are full of hopes and dreams for the future. Nellie longs to learn to read, to be part of a family once more, and never to be hungry again. But with no job and no one to turn to, how will Nellie make her wishes come true?Meet Nellie and join her adventure in the first of four stories about an Irish girl with a big heart, in search of the freedom to be herself.
Penny Matthews has written three junior novels. Her picture books include Pudding and Chips, Little Red Bear and A Year on Our Farm. Something About Water was joint winner of the Wilderness Society's Environment Award for Children's Literature. A Girl Like Me, her first young adult novel, was also a 2010 CBCA Notable Book and won the Sisters in Crime's 2011 Davitt Award for Young Adult Fiction. Lucia Masciullo has recently illustrated Sonya Hartnett's The Boy and Toy.