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A New World

A Time Travelling Adventure with Catherine Chisholm

(18 customer reviews)
Authors: Jane Smith
adventure series for girls
128mm x 198mm

Carly Mills Series

It’s not easy coming to the city all alone when you’re a young country girl. It’s even harder when a strange discovery sends you right back in time to 1841! Carly Mills is about to learn how dangerous Sydney can be for a lonely colonial girl … and how hard it is to move in a corset. Mrs Chisholm tells her that kindness and friendship can make the world a better place. Could she be right?

Jane Smith

Jane Smith

Jane Smith, an accomplished author, archivist, editor and librarian, is dedicated to resurrecting captivating tales from history’s depths for readers of all ages. With a prolific portfolio spanning fiction and non-fiction since 2014, Jane has published over twenty books with a historical focus. Jane’s works have received national acclaim and earned multiple prestigious literary award […]

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18 reviews for A New World

  1. I am the teacher librarian in a girls’ school, and I am always on the lookout for books about strong female role models. Carly Mills, Pioneer Girl will connect our girls to outstanding women from Australia’s past. What I love most is the way the fictional format helps us to get to know each famous woman personally, and brings to life their contributions to their communities. I highly recommend the series as enjoyable reads and as supporting texts for the Australian Curriculum.’

  2. Carly is visiting her friend in Sydney a few months before she is to begin boarding school. They visit Customs House where Carly finds, and is allowed to keep, two discarded old shawls. As they are waiting at traffic lights to cross the busy 21st century street, Carly tries to imagine what Sydney was like when the shawls were new. She soon finds out because when she puts her shawl on, Carly is transported to the 1841 Sydney. Feeling lost and alone, she is soon befriended by a woman who takes her in. But this is no ordinary woman, Carly has met Caroline Chisholm. Carly stays with her in the hut that is to become the Female Immigrant’s Home, founded in 1841. When Carly takes off her shawl she is returned to the present day, walking alongside her friend Dora. The two girls then travel between times with their shawls, discovering what life was like then and how very special Caroline Chisholm was. They face some nasty characters and learn how hard girls their age lived and worked during this time.
    Carly and Dora are well written characters. They are friendly and fun, but also want to do the best and help people. Historical facts and the lifestyle of colonial Sydney is woven seamlessly into the narrative and young readers will enjoy the easy way the narrative flows. Independent readers will enjoy this book, dotted with illustrations. It will also make a good read aloud for the classroom or at home.
    This is the first in a new series of books by author Jane Smith about female pioneers of the past. Future volumes will include Dr Lillian Cooper, Dame Nellie Melba, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart and Miles Franklin.
    This book is a must for school and public libraries, sharing a time from our colonial history.

  3. This does more than acknowledge our female trailblazers. It teaches our daughters about them in a delightful and entertaining away. Gold!
    – Madonna King, author and journalist.

  4. This book is a must for school and public libraries, sharing a time from our colonial history.
    -Liz Derouet, Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship

  5. As a mother of three school-aged boys I am thrilled about Jane Smith’s new children’s series focussing on strong women from our past. Meeting Caroline Chisholm through our new time-travelling character Carly brings history to life, making Chisholm’s philanthropic achievements accessible to children and presenting themes of the importance of showing kindness and generosity to others.
    — Lisa Taylor, nurse/midwife and mother of three

  6. We have all been avid fans of Jane Smith’s previous work – we enjoyed following the adventures of Tommy Bell as he met up with various bushrangers. Smith’s meticulous historical research really helps to immerse the reader in the 19th-century time period that Tommy finds himself in. And the books are lots of fun … who doesn’t love the magic of time travel?

  7. Australian history contains wonderful characters and stories, but it is an uphill battle to convince students of that. Thank goodness, therefore, for author Jane Smith whose Australian historical fiction is so engaging and relatable for a young audience. Seen through the eyes of Carly Mills and her new friend Dora, Caroline Chisholm becomes a flesh and blood heroine, tackling rats and rogues with equal aplomb. Better still, without being heavy-handed about it, her story neatly lets historical example provide a path forward for contemporary problems. Highly recommended for readers in years 3-7.
    Diana Carrigan, teacher

  8. Once again Jane Smith has managed to take a piece of Australian history and weave an interesting story with engaging characters that is guaranteed to appeal to her target readers. It will fit perfectly into the primary school curriculum and will, I’m sure, become the next ‘in demand ‘series.

    Allen Heald, educational bookseller 22 years

  9. Carly Mills Pioneer Girl, begins in the exact moment it should, aiming right to the hearts and minds of our young pioneer girls of today.

    Genevieve Allpass, CEO & Founder of PEACEful Humans Inc.

  10. We read the first few chapters, and the kids were obsesssssssed!’
    Sally Hannah, primary school teacher, Cloncurry.

  11. “As a school librarian, this book makes me excited! It is the right balance of adventure, relationships and meticulously researched history. It could sit quite comfortably as a classroom text and be very popular as a book for reading for leisure. But as a mother of a young girl, this book makes me very excited! What a wonderful way to introduce strong, smart female characters.”

  12. … an interesting approach to teaching history to young people. I imagine it would raise many areas for discussion. The clothing and living conditions brought to light a better understanding of life in early Australia and the lack of amenities that we take for granted would surprise them. However even without the educational aspects it was a good story.

  13. “I love the imagery and descriptions of people and places as well as the clear and easy-to-follow history that flows through the story. Jane Smith managed to find a perfect balance between fact and fiction. What an encouragement for young girls today – Carolyn Chisholm really was a woman ahead of her time, proving that ‘kindness and friendship can make the world a better place’. I can’t wait to read the next instalment.”

  14. This book is a clever introduction to early Australian History for middle grade readers. Later books will look at Dr Lillian Cooper, Dame Nellie Melba, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Miles Franklin.

  15. How would you react if you blinked your eyes to find yourself transported 200 years into the past? Carly Mills responds to this unexpected turn of events by making the most of a chance meeting with Australian historical legend Caroline Chisholm. A journey of discovery follows, as Mrs Chisholm introduces Carly to the harsh reality of life for the poor in 19th century Sydney.

    Carly demonstrates determination, curiosity, and resilience in the face of her uncertainties. Alongside the time-travelling adventure narrative, Carly navigates a nascent modern-world friendship with Dora, her bubbly guide-turned-sidekick. The rendering of Caroline Chisholm is approachable, if slightly one-dimensional.

    The story requires a degree of suspension of disbelief, as the two primary-school graduates are permitted to roam modern Sydney alone, and their acquaintances in the 1840s accept their comings-and-goings without query. But given the target audience and length of the book, it provides an engaging and emotive window into history without any hint of didacticism.

    Each chapter includes a simple line-drawing, aiding comprehension of some of the unfamiliar features of the historical world, such as corsets. The book concludes with a useful historical note and an entertaining ‘Q&A with Caroline Chisholm’. The first in an anticipated series, readers will look forward to their next adventure with Carly.

    This book will appeal to 7 to 12-year olds, particularly girls, who will enjoy coming on a time-travelling journey with the protagonists and find inspiration in the achievements of Caroline Chisholm. It will also be an asset to upper-primary teachers covering Australian colonial history. Teaching materials are available.

  16. This is a fun little series, and one that I am thoroughly enjoying reading it. Jane Smith has made everything work seamlessly together, allowing the history and fiction to come together to educate as well as telling a rollicking good story that will capture the imaginations of readers. I love that these books celebrate the achievements of women throughout history in all areas – the arts, science, medicine, politics, and everything else we can think of, and I would love to see some of those women whose names might not be as widely known appear as well. Filled with fun but also a hefty dose of reality, these books also deliver the realities of discrimination and the changing role of women in history whilst still making history accessible for younger readers. It shows that despite changes, these prejudices still exist, and women are still fighting them but sometimes in different ways.

  17. I have personally told so many people about your books. My son saw the Carly Mills books and recognised your name. He asked to read them before I take them into school next year.

  18. This book is a time travelling romp with a feminist heart. Learning about important female figures has never been more fun

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