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Tommy Bell Bushranger Series

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Authors: Jane Smith
Bushrangers, Social, Friendship

Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy Series – Books 1 to 7 (does not include book 8)

“The Runaway #7 shortlisted in 2019 Speech Pathology Awards” – winner announced November 2019

“Shoot-out at the Rock #1 – CBCA Book of the Year Awards – 2017 Notables” 

An exciting new Australian adventure series full of danger, daring and wild colonial boys!


Tommy Bell, Bushranger Boy is a wonderful new series featuring Tommy’s time travelling escapades that take him face-to-face with some of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers.

The hero of the series, Tommy Bell, lives in regional NSW in contemporary times but is able to travel back in time to the gold rush days by wearing an old bushranger’s hat that he discovered on his grandfather’s farm. Tommy and his friends find themselves up close and personal with one of Australia’s well known outlaws. With each adventure there is plenty of danger and excitement: armed hold-ups, sieges, frauds, shoot-outs, police chases, jail-time and much more.

Each book cleverly incorporates a parallel story from Tommy’s twenty-first century life that tests his friendships and develops his character.

#1 Shoot-out at the Rock  featuring Captain Thunderbolt– CBCA Book of the Year Awards – 2017 Notables  

#2 The Horse Thief featuring Frank Gardiner

#3 The Gold Escort Gang featuring Frank Gardiner and his mates ‘Flash Jack’ and Ben Hall

#4 Outback Adventure  featuring Harry Readford

#5 Gang of Thieves featuring Ben Hall and his gang

#6 Mrs Thunderbolt featuring Mary Ann Bugg

#7 The Runaway featuring Mr Christie aka Frank Gardiner – Australian Speech Pathology Awards – 2019 Shortlist

For more information on each title click here


Shoot-out at the Rock is a great book, especially for young boys who don’t like reading. Time travel is always gripping and when it is combined with fast horses, narrow escapes, moral dilemmas and dangerous adventures how could they resist? They may even fail to notice that they are learning about Australian history at the time … I’m not six, but I had to read it in one sitting. It’s a good book! Reviewed by Katy Gerner, Reading Time

Australian history has never been more interesting. Author, Jane Smith, has captured the life of bushranger. – Julianne Wallace author, illustrator Blog

Gang of Thieves, is the fifth book in the Tommy Bell, Bushranger Boy collection. It’s a remarkable Australian series where fictional characters watch Australian history unfold before their eyes. I highly recommend it for schools, independent readers, and for kids who love Australian history. – Book Reviews and Writer’s Ink

Would make a great read aloud class novel as it links well with the Year 5 History Curriculum. At the end of the book, readers will find historical information on the bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt, and there is also a question and answer section. It is an imaginary interview with the bushranger. Children could create their own version after listening to the story and doing their own research. This novel is great for readers who are venturing into the world of novels and who also enjoy a little adventure. The text is easy to read but still describes events in an exciting manner. It is highly recommended.  -ReadPlus

This is a great read with historical accuracy and enough fun to help kids thoroughly enjoy learning. This is a great book for any primary age school kid, especially anyone who thinks school is dull … Full of precise historical details, this novel is easy to read and makes it easy to remember some of the details about the real bushranger known as Captain Thunderbolt. There is even a Q and A section at the end of the book and a historical note with details about Captain Thunderbolt’s career. One of the best ways to introduce young readers into the fascinating world of our past in Australia. There are also several other books written by the same author depicting the lives of other famous Australian bushrangers. Written in six easy to digest chapters, the book includes some very cute black line drawings which help to set the scene. The descriptions of the area are interesting and the entire story is fun. Sometimes, though some readers may wish for even more details, but that will encourage them to read more at school or ask questions. – CKT Review

Purchase Jane Smiths ‘Australian Bushrangers’ Series – Special June Series price available now

Full of colourful characters and daring exploits, young readers will love learning about these Australian legends. These entertaining, historically accurate books are aligned with the national curriculum and will appeal to students, teachers and schools. Meticulously researched, they refute many popular myths and present a balanced view of new facts and legendary exploits.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW – Book 4 ‘The Masked Man’. (August title rrp $12.50)

When Tommy Bell’s father’s car breaks down on a road trip, Tommy and Martin are stranded overnight in a motel room in a strange country town. Things get even weirder when Tommy finds himself roaming the deserted streets on a moonlit night, way back in 1869. But wait – is that an armed robbery in progress? And who is that masked man?

Jane Smith

Jane Smith

  Author and librarian Jane Smith has a passion for Australian history and bushrangers in particular. With thirteen books on the subject published since 2014, and with titles receiving award nominations in the ABIA and CBCA awards and glowing reviews nationally it appears that Jane’s fascination with Australian history is shared by children, parents and […]

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