Home Child is a beautiful book, both in words and illustrations. It tells the true story of Pat Brown who as an 11-year-old was sent with her siblings to live in New Zealand under a British government migration scheme. The first-person narrator is Pat’s Granddaughter, with Pat recounting her memories of bewilderment in departing England, her experiences on the ship and her arrival to an unknown future in New Zealand.
Trish Bowles completely captures the story with full page illustrations on 34 of the 36 pages. Her skilful artistry depicts characters with a genuine honesty, their emotions clearly evident. The hues she has chosen complement the era and the story very well.
At the back of the book there is a brief history of the child migrants. The children, to quote the book “faced foreign lands and often harsh conditions…They had no idea that they were going away forever.” Underneath this history is a list of references used for the book, giving the reader the opportunity to research the topic further. On the facing page there is also a little about Pat Brown and her family, including some photographs.
Author: Dawn McMillan
Illustrator: Trish Bowles
Date of Publication: April 2019
Reviewer’s name, job title, school name & region:Vickie Humphries, Librarian, Mount Cook School, Wellington
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Our family has a story … Gran’s story.