I have been lost this last week. Lost in the depression with a young girl I would love to meet in real life. She has sass and spunk, and a good heart. Okay, so she is also a little bit naughty and gets into trouble, but really these are just more good reasons to love Adversity McAllister.
Adversity has been left by her parents in an orphanage, like so many others during the depression in Australia. It is not that they do not love her, but that they cannot afford to keep her while they take their travelling Shakespearean show around the countryside. The Matron assures them that she will take good care of their daughter, but then proceeds to try and make a profit from the talented Adversity.
In Sweet Adversity, Sheryl Gwyther has produced an adventure story with a strong female hero, a touch of history and some fantastic bad guys who keep the story interesting. Told from twelve year old Adversity’s perspective, Australia during the depression is full of; scary grown ups, children who are more than capable of fending for themselves, as well as people with hearts of gold who help others when they can. All of these characters are part of the well told story around Adversity trying to escape from those who wish to profit from her while she investigates the truth about what really happened to her parents.
This is one of those rich, beautifully told tales that tween readers who love getting lost in books will fall into and be reluctant to climb out of. It is also one of those books that parents will enjoy reading to, and with, their children. I was sad to let Adversity go, so I am hoping that she might pop up in another tale somewhere along the line.