Category Archives: book

Goldfields Girl

Being a teenage girl in 1892 isn’t all buttons and bows. Not when you’re a girl in search of adventure, like the real-life Clara Saunders.

After arriving in the ‘Golden West’, Clara jumps at the chance to strike out on her own in the new outback town of Coolgardie. But there, amongst the flies, red dust and rowdy prospectors, Clara discovers that adventure-seekers sometimes get a whole lot more than they bargained for.

  • Release date: March 2020
  • Publisher: Fremantle Press
  • Available for: 16.99
  • ISBN: 9 781925816495
  • Format: Paperback

Eden Glassie Mystery series

New editions of the Eden Glassie Mystery series are now available in paperback.

These adventure/mystery novels are set in rural Australia on the vineyard property, Eden Glassie, where cousins, Tori, Bronte, Morgan and Maddie swim in the river, explore the adjacent forest and ride their horses around the local area.

Vineyards are fascinating places. Always out of step with their surroundings they are green in summer, bare in winter, but always alive with crews of itinerant pickers, pruners, wine makers and farm workers. They are also rich in gossip, myths, tall tales and humour. Tori and Bronte are the same age – almost. Maddie is the ‘baby’, feisty and determined to keep up with the others. Morgan comes in between. He is confident and outgoing, most of the time, but across the quartet of stories each of the children is challenged and tested in different ways. Over time each one is forced to dig deep into their store of courage and determination. Together they must develop independence and maturity, solving mysteries, confronting problems and caring for their environment and each other.

  • Deep Water ISBN 13: 978-1548597689
  • Stone Circle ISBN 13: 978-1548488987
  • Black Earth ISBN 13: 978-1546845379
  • Wild Wind ISBN 13: 978-1548379452
  • Release date: 01/07/2017
  • Publisher: Create Space
  • Available for: $14 each
  • ISBN: See above
  • Format: Paperback
Deep Water
Wild Wind
Stone Circle
Black Earth

For more details on each title and to download free Teacher’s Notes click on the book covers above.

To See The World

All his life José has seen the tall ships sailing in, from around the world, to Port Louis on the island of Mauritius, where he was born. As he watches them leave again, disappearing below the horizon, he dreams of going with them – of sailing away, one day, to see the world. He thinks about all the adventures he will have, the ships he will capture, the men he will command, and the buried treasure he will find on faraway islands.

But when the young and beautiful Rose de Freycinet arrives on board the Uranie in 1818 José’s life is changed in ways that he has never imagined. Pirates, cannibals, storms and shipwreck become harsh realities and José is forced to muster all his courage and inate intelligence to survive the dangers as well as the excitement of shipboard life.

  • Release date: 1 April 2014
  • Publisher: NLA Publishing
  • Available for: $17.99
  • ISBN: 9780642278494
  • Format: Paperback

Prior to reading the book, my expectations were very low because I don’t read many historical novels and I find them a bit boring. When I started reading, I was immediately engaged because the beginning was faster than most of this genre.

Miriam, age 12

The beginning is good. It grabs my attention. I was very interested in José, and I did like the bits in French but that’s because I understood them…

Toby, age 13

Miss Llewellyn-Jones goes to town

Miss Llewellyn-Jones takes Teddy shopping – with disastrous results. Teddy takes off on an adventure of his own, and it takes all his ingenuity to find his way home. A delightfully rhythmic text and gorgeous, quirky illustrations make this a book to read again and again.

Illustrator Moira Court was shortlisted for a Crichton Award for Best New Illustrator by the Children’s Book Council for Miss Llewellyn-Jones.

  • Release date: 2010
  • Publisher: Fremantle Press
  • Available for: $16.95
  • ISBN: 9781921696046
  • Format: Paperback

The idiosyncratic heroine should by now have learned to keep a careful eye on her restless Teddy! This is a sequel to Miss Llewellyn-Jones with its washing line adventure, which was shortlisted for the CBCA Crichton Award. This time the two companions set out by motor scooter for a shopping expedition.

When Teddy gets bored and leaves Miss Llewellyn- Jones’ shopping basket, he meets difficulties that demand all his ingenuity. While the short text reads aloud cheerfully, much of the storytelling takes place in the pictures. So this is a book that requires and rewards careful reading in the widest sense of the word. Poring over the pictures, readers young and old will notice such details as how Teddy became entangled in the sausages and what happened to the wooden horse. The naïve style illustrations use generous blocks of colour, and what colour it is— the ‘fresh squeezed cumquat juice’ page is especially mouth-watering. The author is known for her novels for nine- to 14-year-olds, but now with two books about this implacable heroine has a well deserved slice of the four- to nine-year-old market; especially good for schools and libraries.

Robin Morrow – Junior Bookseller (March to May)

Black Jack Anderson

Anderson and his men came in under the stern of HMS Shannon, jammed her rudder and scrambled up her ropes.

But the captain had been looking out for them. He had orders to capture Anderson if he came within range, and to take him to Hobart for trial. At pistol point, the captain called on Anderson to surrender.

Black Jack Anderson by Elaine Forrestal

Ruthless, passionate, charismatic and complex, Black Jack Anderson made a living by raiding passing ships off the southwest coast of Australia. The massive African-American was notorious in his lifetime, but this towering figure in Australian history has slowly been forgotten … until now.

Elaine Forrestal has written the definitive Australian pirate story – one that will live forever in the memories of all who read it.

  • Release date: 27/06/2008
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia
  • Available for: $19.95
  • ISBN: 9780143005940
  • Format: Paperback

Forrestal has imbued this little known bit of Australian history, despite sparce official records, with humanity, drama and romance. Anderson was fearsome but quite a charmer, a man of honour who won the heart of a shipwrecked lass. It’s an excellent book with an amazing story of survival against the odds.

Frank Walker, Sun Herald (Sydney)

Pirates didn’t just ply their deadly trade in the Caribbean. West Australian author Elaine Forrestal uncovers Australia’s most famous buccaneer, Black Jack Anderson, who terrorised the west coast during the 1820s and 1830s from his base on a remote island.

Herald Sun (Melbourne)

Taken from the carefully kept records of a scholar who was with Anderson on his decade long rampage, this book is a fascinating account of a part of Australian history obscured by Captain Cook and Ned Kelly.

Marcus Mendola – South Coast Register (NSW)


Short­listed by:
West Aus­tralian Young Read­ers Book Awards (Older Read­ers), 2009

Miss Llewellyn-Jones

Miss Llewellyn-Jones has a lot of trouble keeping her washing on the line. She loses jeans, tops, socks and knickers … but when she hangs out Teddy, things take a surprising turn. A delightfully rhythmic text and gorgeous, quirky illustrations make this a book to read again and again.

  • Release date: 2008
  • Publisher: Fremantle Press
  • Available for: $16.95 (out-of-print)
  • ISBN: 9781921361173
  • Format: Paperback

Forrestal’s text is simple but with a lovely cadence to it that makes it a perfect read-aloud. With its large, clear print and repetitive, uncomplicated text many young readers will feel confident to try to read it for themselves, especially after they have heard it read. Court’s colourful naive-art illustrations are the perfect support for Forrestal’s text; uncluttered but with sufficient interesting detail to get the reader wondering on which item each flying article of washing might land. Reminiscent of “Mrs Mopple’s Washing Line”, sadly out of print, this is sure to be read and re-read.

Annette Dale Meiklejohn — Magpies

Short­listed for: Crich­ton Award

Children’s Book Coun­cil of Aus­tralia Notable Book 2009 (Early Child­hood and Pic­ture Book of the Year categories)

Deep Water

‘I’m sure I heard it,’ I said. ‘It’s Axle, howling.’

‘Axle’s gone, Tori.’ My uncle shoved his secateurs in the back pocket of his baggy trousers. ‘I know it’s hard,’ he said. ‘Especially when we’ve never found his body.’

Deep Water by Elaine Forrestal

But Tori has heard a dog howling. Did he imagine it? Is it, as his cousin Bronte believes, Axle’s ghost? Or could Axle be alive, after all?

Flood strikes the idyllic vineyard property of Eden-Glassie, and the raging river sweeps away the family’s dogs. All are returned except Axle, Tori’s beagle. But a dog sounding like Axle can be heard howling from the other side of the swollen river. Tori risks a midnight swim across to find his dog, but instead finds something much more troubling and sinister…

Deep Water is the first in the exciting series of mysteries set on the vineyard property of Eden-Glassie.

  • Release date: 01/06/2005
  • Publisher:
  • Available for:
  • ISBN: 9780143300304
  • Format: Paperback, eBook

The plot will appeal with elements of mystery, adventure and daring. The characters too will have their appeal, as Tori and his cousin take control, showing independence, courage and resilience. It is somehow reassuring to find a novel that features an extended family.

Barbara Dobson – Reading Time

Tori isn’t the sort of kid to give up on anyone or anything and his determination to find Axle leads him to some frightening discoveries. This book is ideal for mystery-lovers aged nine to 13.

Kirsty Pitman – The West Australian

Deep Water is a good read – full of adventure and daring. Tori is an engaging character. His determination and endurance make him real and very likeable.

Tina Cavanough – Magpies

Short listed for:
WA Premier’s Book Awards, 2003
West Aus­tralian Young Read­ers Book Awards, 2005

Wild Wind

‘I can’t fit in there,’ I said, straightening up to my full 154 centimetres. There was an almighty crash somewhere above us. A shower of dust and grit fell through the air vent in the ceiling and suddenly all four of us were scrambling in, pressing close together under the kitchen table.

Wild Wind by Elaine Forrestal

A terrifying cyclone brings down power lines and creates havoc, while a mysterious prowler, circling the Eden-Glassie homestead, strikes terror into the hearts of Tori, his sister and two cousins. Their courage has never been so thoroughly tested.

Following Deep Water, Stone Circle and Black Earth, this is the dramatic conclusion to the Eden-Glassie Quartet.

  • Release date: 30/05/2005
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia
  • Available for: $14.95
  • ISBN: 9780143300717
  • Format: Paperback, eBook

The final of the four Eden-Glassie mysteries will not disappoint fans of the series and yet it is quite accessible to readers who have not read the previous volumes. Forrestal’s child characters continue to develop through this story in a satisfying manner.

Annette Dale Meiklejohn – Magpies

Black Earth

One leg of Bronte’s jeans caught fire and she staggered, dropping her precious show saddle from her shoulder. A flame shot up her back. She screamed and fell.

Black Earth by Elaine Forrestal

There’s tension at Eden-Glassie these holidays: Tori is torn between spending time with his two cousins, Morgan on the new four-wheeler bike that Uncle Ian has bought for the vineyard, and Bronte, who wants to ride horses and hates the bike.

Meanwhile, a series of strange and unpredictable grassfires have been springing up around the property. Is someone trying to sabotage Eden-Glassie? Then comes the biggest fire, and Tori is faced with the unthinkable.

Following Deep Water and Stone Circle, this is the third exciting mystery in the Eden-Glassie Quartet.

  • Release date: 04/10/2004
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia
  • Available for: $14.95
  • ISBN: 9780143300700
  • Format: Paperback + eBook

The surprise ending … left me wanting to re-read the book to see how I had missed the clues.

Pat Tighe – The West Australian

Forrestal’s contemporary rural adventure is a fast paced young adult thriller perfect for budding historians and fans of The Famous Five.

Frances Atkinson – The Age, All About Books

Following Deep Water and Stone Circle, the third exciting mystery in the Eden-Glassie Quartet is an immensely enjoyable read.

Leonard Dixon – The Book Club Review

Short listed for:
WA Premier’s Book Awards, 2004

Stone Circle

‘My eyes kept travelling back to the exposed skulls. I imagined three bodies, buried standing upright, their feet deep in the earth. The hairs on the back of my neck began to rise and, for some reason, Ben Hermano’s name pushed its way into my head.’

Stone Circle by Elaine Forrestal

It’s the holidays and Tori and his sister, Maddie, have gone to stay again with their cousins Bronte and Morgan on their vineyard property. But this time Maddie sets off a chain of events that plunges them all into mysteries, past and present.

The second exciting mystery set on the vineyard property of Eden Glassie.

  • Release date: 03/05/2004
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia
  • Available for:
  • ISBN: 9780143300694
  • Format: Paperback

Forrestal’s contemporary rural adventure is a fast paced young adult thriller perfect for budding historians and fans of The Famous Five.

Frances Atkinson – The Age, All About Books

If you have children who love a good mystery and adventure yarn the Eden Glassie mysteries are for you. As the story (Stone Circle) unfolds two mysteries are solved: a long ago murder and a present day robbery. Although the children take risks and help solve mysteries the story is not far-fetched. The two Eden Glassie mysteries available to date seem to be just what the young reader ordered and I would heartily recommend them to readers from middle to upper primary.

Annette Dale Meiklejohn – Magpies

Short listed for:
West Aus­tralian Young Read­ers Book Awards, 2006