By: Jackie French
Genre: YFT - Historical fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: Harper Collins
Published: 29 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9781460754801


The whisper in the darkness is: rebellion! (Or: death or liberty!) Frog is an orphan, a pickpocket, starving on the streets of Parramatta in 1804. But when the tall, commanding Irish rebel Mr Cunningham talks of freedom from tyranny and the lash, Frog creeps out to join the rebels, the 10,000 convicts who will take over the colony and proclaim the Republic of New Ireland. Will farmers like Barney and Elsie Bean join the battle against the corrupt New South Wales Corps? For the fate of the colony - and Australia - will be decided at Castle Hill.

Based on eyewitness accounts, this fifth title in The Secret Histories series uncovers the secrets that the colonial government hid for over 200 years.


Set in the early 1800’s, this is a story that really highlights the hardship of the time and circumstances that the early convicts and settlers faced.

You will immediately be drawn to the main character, Frog—young, smart, feisty and, given the battles that Frog has had to survive, astoundingly courageous.

Frog has the courage to join Mr Cunningham and his rebels at Castle Hill, and do what ever it takes to have a better life. All Frog wanted was hope that things could be better, particularly a hope of a better life. But Frog also has a secret, and if found out, could change things completely.

This is also a story about the kindness of others, particularly that of the Beans. Could they really be all that Frog has ever wanted?

This is another great historical fiction title by Jackie French, that will be enjoyed by upper primary students.

Reviewed by Sam