Winner Western Australian Premier s Children s Book Award, 2002
They ll not take my freedom away! These are the words of Moondyne Joe, the beloved scoundrel and expert bushman of early Australian convict history. There wasn t a cell built that could contain him, and Joe often led the troopers on wild chases through the Moondyne Hills of Western Australia. This is the story of a colourful Australian legend from the award-winning team of Mark Greenwood and Fran Lessac.
From the author-illustrator team who produced Simpson and his Donkey, which won Honour Book Eve Pownall Award for Information Books, Children s Book Council of Australia 2009
First published in 2002, this superbly researched book tells a great Australian story
chool Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Simply and objectively, Greenwood tells the tale of a legendary character from Australia's past as a convict colony. In 1848, Joseph Bolitho Johns, an unemployed Welsh miner, is convicted of stealing food and sent to Australia to work off his time as a laborer. Released for good behavior, he sets up residence in a cave in the Moondyne Hills. But soon "Moondyne Joe," as he becomes known, is back in jail. Determined to have his freedom, he escapes, beginning a long cycle of arrests and prison escapes. At the heart of this story is the human spirit: an innate, overwhelming desire for freedom, and the amazing lengths one man goes to in order to return to his adventuresome life as a bushranger. In primitive folk-art style, Lessac's gouache paintings provide a compatible visual accounting of events. The artist's thorough attention to historical detail is evident by her depictions of such things as proper uniforms for the folk hero's various prison activities. An appealing leisure read and a useful title for social-studies reports and assignments.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2003