Walker Books Australia
Imprint: Walker Books Australia
Australian RRP: $26.99
New Zealand RRP: $29.99
If ever there was a story to inspire kids to follow their dreams this surely has to be one that is right up there with the best. In our modern world it seems completely unbelievable that a nine-year-old boy and his pony could travel six hundred miles unaccompanied from Victoria to Sydney but that’s how Lennie (and Ginger Mick) became an Australian legend.
In the Great Depression there were few things to keep Australian spirits buoyant aside from building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and our Don Bradman. For a young boy living in Victoria the marvel of engineering that was to be Sydney’s iconic bridge was fascinating and he longed to see it for himself. Having proven himself to be both resourceful and dependable his father agreed to his journey on his beloved pony, Ginger Mick. Averaging about twenty miles a day Lennie was feted by supporters along his route by the many who had heard of his mission and was even greeted by the Prime Minister Joseph Lyons in Canberra. Schoolchildren and adults alike were uplifted by Lennie’s determination and he was shown much welcoming warmth from families and even ‘posh’ hotels as he grew closer and closer to his destination.
What a character this boy must have been and I have often wondered about the man he became because surely a child with such sturdy determination and resilience must have become a truly worthy and dependable adult.
This is a book that will completely fascinate your readers and will provide them with an insight into a period of Australian history that was very grim but was also a time of hope with so many doing their best to rally in community spirit. They may well enjoy re-tracing Lennie’s journey and doing a virtual exploration of the towns and locales through which he passed.
Absolutely a cracking book for your collection and so highly recommended for your readers from around 7 years upwards.
Listen to ABC Conversations about Lennie’s story here.
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