New Zealand RRP:$18.99
This is the remarkable story of an unusual woman and perhaps, for many, a previously uknown history. Edna Jessop was one of a kind. She is considered to be the first woman to lead a droving team and she did this, with passion, tenacity and skill. After growing up on the stock routes across Australia, she became boss drover, in 1950, when her father fell ill, and drove 1550 cattle from Western Australia to Queensland, with just two stockmen to help her – aged only 22. What a woman!
This beautifully written and illustrated narrative non-fiction re-traces that astonishing feat. Neridah McMullin has skilfully traced the story without a reveal of the Drover’s gender until the climatic ending and the absolutely beautiful illustrations from Sarah Anthony, capture the very essence of the landscapes, with which Edna was so familiar.
It is not only an exciting and drama-filled history but a wonderful springboard to conversations on unsung significant Australians, especially women, and the colourful history of droving in our nation. What a tremendous way to explore the geography of our country, students could re-trace Drover’s epic trek across the country (particularly apt for the Around Australia type units typically undertaken by Year 2 students).
However, even for older students, an introduction to Edna’s history would be a refreshing change from those personalities often chosen for a bibliographic unit of work. Introduce Edna with the picture book and then research via several channels of information to put together a full picture of this quite exceptional Australian.
Highly recommended for readers from around Prep upwards. Read more about Edna here or here….or sit back and enjoy this interview from Channels of History.